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£\ht<xvy  of'tht  t:heolo0(cal  ^tminwy 


Wilbur  11.  Smith 

BV  4811  .M87  1905 
Murray,  Andrew,  1828-1917 
The  inner  chamber  and  the 
inner  life 





Fleming  H,  Revell  Company  is 
the  only  authorised  American  pub- 
lisher of  Dr.  Murray's  Works,  of 
xvhieh  a  complete  descriptive  list 
mil  he  found  at  the  end  of  this 
volume.  Royalties  are  paid  Dr. 
Murray  on  all  the  issues  there 
named  and  by  him  applied  to  the 
furtherance  of  his  work  in  South 


Inner  Chamber 
The   Inner   Life 



New    York      Chicago      Toronto 

Fleming  H.  Revell  Company 


Copyright,  1905,  by 

New  York:  158  Fifth  Avenue 
Chicago :  80  Wabash  Avenue 
Toronto  :  27  Richmond  Street,  W. 
London  :  21  Paternoster  Square 
Edinburgh:    100  Princes  Street 


The  Inner  Chamber  suggests  thoughts  of  the  ut- 
most importance.  The  daily  need  of  retirement 
and  quiet;  the  true  Spirit  of  prayer;  the  Devo- 
tional reading  of  God^s  Word;  the  Fellowship 
with  God  for  which  these  are  meant  and  by  which 
alone  they  bring  a  blessing;  the  Spiritual  Life 
which  they  are  meant  to  strengthen  and  fit  for 
daily  duty  in  intercourse  with  the  world;  the 
Service  for  the  Kingdom  of  God  in  Soul-winning 
and  Intercession — all  these  truths  have  their  share 
in  making  our  devotions  a  source  of  joy  and  of 
strength.  In  this  little  book  I  have  not  attempted 
to  take  them  up  systematically,  but  I  hope  that 
the  fragments  I  have  given  may  bring  help  to  some 
in  the  cultivation  of  the  hidden  life  and  its  inter- 
course with  God. 

In  this  South  African  country  there  are  various 
diseases  that  affect  our  orange  trees.  One  of  them 
is  popularly  known  by  the  name  of  the  root-disease. 
A  tree  may  still  be  bearing,  and  an  ordinary  ob- 
server may  not  notice  anything  wrong,  while  an 
expert  sees  the  beginning  of  a  slow  death.  The 
phylloxera  in  the  vineyards  is  nothing  but  a  root- 
disease,  and  it  has  been  found  that  there  is  no 
radical  cure  bi;t  by  taking  out  the  old  roots  and 
providing  new  ones.  The  old  sort  of  grape  is 
grafted  on  an  American  root,  and  in  course  of 

6  Preface 

time  you  have  the  same  stem  and  branches  and 
fruit  as  before;  But  the  Eoots  are  New  and 
able  to  resist  the  disease.  It  is  in  the  part  of  the 
plant  that  is  Hid  from  Sight,  that  the  disease 
comes,  and  where  healing  must  be  sought. 

How  the  Church  of  Christ,  and  the  spiritual  life 
of  thousands  of  its  members,  suffers  from  the  root- 
disease  ;  the  neglect  of  secret  intercourse  with  God. 
It  is  the  lack  of  secret  prayer,  the  neglect  of  the 
maintenance  of  that  hidden  life  "Booted  in 
Christ,"  "Eooted  and  grounded  in  love,"  that 
explains  the  feebleness  of  the  Christian  life  to 
resist  the  world,  and  its  failure  to  bring  forth 
fruit  abundantly.  Nothing  can  change  this  but 
the  restoration,  in  the  life  of  the  believer,  of  the 
inner  chamber  to  the  place  which  Christ  meant  it 
to  have.  As  Christians  learn,  instead  of  trusting 
their  own  efforts,  what  it  is  daily  to  strike  their 
roots  deeper  into  Christ,  and  to  make  the  secret 
personal  fellowship  with  God  their  chief  care,  true 
godliness  will  flourish.  "If  the  root  be  holy,  so 
are  the  branches."  If  the  morning  hour  be  holy 
to  the  Lord,  the  day  with  its  duties  will  be  so  too. 
If  the  root  be  healthy,  so  are  the  branches. 

The  most  of  these  chapters  have  already  ap- 
peared in  The  South  African  Pioneer;  it  is  at  the 
request  of  some  who  read  them  that  I  have  con- 
sented to  these  now  being  republished.  I  pray  that 
God  may  bless  them  to  some  of  His  children  in 
the  pursuit  of  the  deeper  and  more  fruitful  life, 
the  life  hid  with  Christ  in  God. 

Andrew  Murray. 



I.  The  Morning  Hour 

II.  The  Door  Shut— Alone  with  God    . 

III.  The  Open  Door— The  Open  Reward 

IV.  Moses  and  the  Word  of  God 

V.  Moses,  the  Man  of  Prayer 

VI.  Moses,  the  Man  of  God 

VII.  The  Power  of  God's  Word 

VIII.  The  Seed  Is  the  Word 

IX.  Doing  and  Knowing     . 

X.  The  Blessedness  of  the  Doer 

XI.  Keeping  Christ's  Commandments 

XII.  Life  and  Knowledge    . 

XIII.  The  Heart  and  the  Understanding 

XIV.  God's  Thoughts  and  our  Thoughts 

XV.  Meditation 

XVI.  Revealed  unto  Babes 

XVII.  Learning  of  Christ 



.   77 
,   82 




Teachableness           .            .            .            . 




The  Life  and  the  Light      . 



The  Bible  Student  .            .           .           , 



Who  art  Thou? 



The  WiU  of  God     . 



Feeding  on  the  Word 






The  Inward  and  the  Outward 

.    iir 


The  Daily  Renewal— Its  Power     . 

.     121 


The  DaUy  Renewal— The  Pattern 

.     125 


The  Daily  Renewal— Its  Cost 

.     129 


HoUness— The  Chief  Aim  of  Bible  Studj 

T     133 


Psalm  cxix.  and  Its  Teaching 

.     138 


The  Holy  Trinity     . 

.     142 


In  Christ       .... 

.     147 


Himself  Alone 

.     151 


Soul- Winning 

.     156 


The  Power  of  Intercession 

.     161 


The   Intercessor        •           •           • 

.     166 



"  My  voice  shalt  thou  hear  in  the  morning,  O  Lord ; 
in  the  morning  will  I  direct  my  prayer  unto  Thee, 
and  will  look  up." — Ps.  v.  3. 

"  The  Lord  God  wakeneth  morning  by  morning,  He 
wakeneth  mine  ear  to  hear  as  they  that  are  taught." — 
Is.  1.  4. 

From  the  earliest  ages  God's  servants  have  thought 
of  the  morning  as  the  time  specially  fitted  for  the 
worship  of  God.  It  is  still  regarded  by  all  Chris- 
tians both  as  a  duty  and  a  privilege  to  devote  some 
portion  of  the  beginning  of  the  day  to  seeking 
retirement  and  fellowship  with  God.  Many 
Christians,  and  specially  the  Student's  Christian 
Association,  observe  The  Morning  Watch;  the 
Y.  P.  C.  E.  Society  speak  of  it  as  the  Quiet  Hour : 
others  use  the  name  of  the  Still  Hour  or  the  Quiet 
Time.  All  these,  whether  they  think  of  a  whole 
hour  or  half  an  hour,  or  a  quarter  of  an  hour, 
unite  with  the  Psalmist  in  what  he  says,  "My 
voice  shalt  thou  hear  in  the  morning,  0  Lord." 

In  speaking  of  the  extreme  importance  of  this 
daily  time  of  quiet  for  prayer  and  meditation  on 
God's  Word,  Mr.  Mott  has  said : — 

lo  The  Inner  Chamber 

"Next  to  receiving  Christ  as  Saviour,  and 
claiming  the  Baptism  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  we  know 
of  no  act  attended  with  larger  good  to  ourselves 
or  others,  than  the  formation  of  an  undiscour- 
ageable  resolution  to  keep  the  morning  watch,  and 
spend  the  first  half  hour  of  the  day  alone  with 
God."  At  first  sight  the  statement  appears  too 
strong.  The  act  of  receiving  Christ  as  Saviour 
is  one  of  such  infinite  consequences  for  eternity, 
the  act  of  claiming  the  Holy  Spirit  is  one  that 
works  such  a  revolution  in  the  Christian  life,  that 
such  a  simple  thing  as  the  firm  determination  to 
keep  the  morning  watch  hardly  appears  sufficiently 
important  to  be  placed  next  to  them.  If,  however, 
we  think  how  impossible  it  is  to  live  out  our  daily 
life  in  Christ  as  our  Saviour  from  sin,  or  to  main- 
tain a  walk  in  the  leading  and  power  of  the  Holy 
Spirit,  without  daily,  close  fellowship  with  God, 
we  soon  shall  see  the  truth  of  the  sentiment.  Be- 
cause it  simply  means  the  fixed  determination  that 
Christ  shall  have  the  whole  life,  that  the  Holy 
Spirit  shall  in  everything  be  fully  obeyed.  The 
morning  watch  is  the  key  to  the  position  in  which 
the  surrender  to  Christ  and  the  Holy  Spirit  can 
be  unceasingly  and  fully  maintained. 

To  realise  this,  let  us  look  first  at  what  ought 
to  be  THE  Object  of  the  morning  watch.  The 
morning  watch  must  not  be  regarded  as  an  end 
in  itself.  It  is  not  sufficient  that  it  gives  us  a 
blessed  time  for  prayer  and  Bible  study,  and  so 
brings  us  a  certain  measure  of  refreshment  and 

Ihe  Morning  Hour  n 

help.  It  is  to  serve  as  a  means  to  an  end.  And 
that^nd  is — ^to  secure  the  presence  of  Christ  for 
the  whole  day.  Personal  devotion  to  a  friend  or 
a  pursuit  means  that  that  friend  or  pursuit  shall 
always  hold  their  place  in  the  heart,  even  when 
other  engagements  occupy  the  attention.  Personal 
devotion  to  Jesus  means  that  we  allow  nothing  to 
separate  us  from  Him  for  a  moment.  To  abide  in 
Him  and  His  love,  to  be  kept  by  Him  and  His  grace, 
to  be  doing  His  will  and  pleasing  Him — this  cannot 
possibly  be  an  intermittent  thing  to  one  who  is 
truly  devoted  to  Him.  "  I  need  Thee  every  hour/' 
"Moment  by  moment  I  am  kept  in  His  love.^'  These 
hymns  are  the  language  of  life  and  truth.  "  In  Thy 
name  shall  they  rejoice  all  the  day/'  "  I  the  Lord 
do  keep  it ;  I  will  water  it  every  moment '' — ^these 
are  words  of  Divine  power.  The  believer  cannot 
stand  for  one  moment  without  Christ.  The  per- 
sonal devotion  to  Him  refuses  to  be  content  with 
anything  less  than  to  abide  always  in  His  love 
and  His  will.  Nothing  less  is  the  true  scriptural 
Christian  life.  And  the  importance  and  blessed- 
ness and  true  aim  of  the  morning  watch  can  only 
be  seen  as  nothing  less  than  this  is  its  first  object. 
The  clearer  the  object  of  our  pursuit  is,  the 
better  we  shall  be  able  to  adapt  the  means  to  its 
attainment.  Consider  the  morning  watch  now  as 
THE  Means  to  this  great  end:  I  want  to  secure 
absolutely  the  presence  of  Christ  all  the  day,  to 
do  nothing  that  can  interfere  with  it.  I  feel  at 
once  that  my  success  for  the  day  will  depend  upon 

12  The  Inner  Chamber 

the  clearness  and  the  strength  of  the  faith  that 
seeks  and  finds  and  holds  Him  in  the  closet. 
Meditation  and  prayer  and  the  word  will  all  be 
used  as  subordinate  and  auxiliary  to  this :  the  link 
for  the  day  between  Christ  and  me  must  be  re- 
newed and  firmly  fastened  in  the  morning  hour. 
At  first  it  may  appear  as  if  the  thought  of  the 
whole  day,  with  all  its  possible  cares,  pleasures, 
temptations,  may  disturb  the  rest  I  have  enjoyed 
in  my  quiet  devotion.  It  is  possible;  but  it  will 
be  no  loss.  True  religion  aims  at  having  the  char- 
acter of  Christ  so  formed  in  us,  that  in  our  most 
common  acts  His  temper  and  disposition  shall 
shew  themselves.  The  spirit  and  the  will  of  Christ 
are  meant  so  to  possess  us  that  in  our  intercourse 
with  men,  in  our  relaxation,  in  our  business,  it 
shall  be  a  second  nature  to  us  to  act  according  to 
them.  All  this  can  be,  because  Christ  Himself, 
as  the  Living  One,  lives  in  us.  Be  not  disturbed 
if  at  first  the  aim  appears  too  high  or  difficult, 
and  occupies  too  much  of  your  time  in  the  hour 
of  private  prayer.  The  time  you  give  it  will  be 
richly  rewarded.  You  will  return  to  prayer  and 
scripture  with  new  purpose  and  new  faith.  As  the 
morning  watch  begins  to  have  its  effect  on  the 
day,  the  day  will  re-act  on  its  first  half  hour,  arid 
fellowship  with  Christ  have  a  new  meaning  and 
a  new  power. 

It  will  specially  have  its  influence  on  the 
Spirit  in  which  you  keep  the  morning  watch.  As 
the  grandeur   of  the  aim — ^unbroken  fellowship 

The  Morning  Hour  13 

with  God  in  Christ  through  the  day — and  the  true 
nature  of  the  means  to  secure  it — a  definite  con- 
scious meeting  with  Christ  and  a  securing  His 
presence  for  the  day — possesses  us,  it  will  be  seen 
that  the  one  essential  thing  is,  whole-hearted  pur- 
pose: the  fixed  determination,  whatever  effort  or 
self-denial  it  may  cost,  to  win  the  prize.  In  study 
or  on  the  sport  field  every  student  knows  what 
need  there  is  of  vigorous  will  and  determined 
purpose  if  we  are  to  succeed.  Eeligion  needs,  and 
indeed  deserves,  not  less  but  more  of  intense  devo- 
tion. If  anything,  surely  the  love  of  Christ  needs 
the  whole  heart.  It  is  this  fixed  determination 
before  ever3i:hing  to  secure  Christ's  presence,  that 
will  overcome  every  temptation  to  be  unfaithful 
or  superficial  in  the  keeping  of  our  pledges.  It  is 
this  will  make  the  morning  watch  itself  a  mighty 
means  of  grace  in  strengthening  character,  and 
nerving  us  to  say  No  to  every  call  for  self-indul- 
gence. It  is  this  will  enable  us  at  once,  when  we 
enter  the  inner  chamber  and  shut  the  door,  to  be 
there  with  our  whole  heart,  ready  at  once  for  our 
intercourse  with  Christ.  And  it  is  this  determina- 
tion that,  from  the  morning  watch  on,  wiU  become 
the  keynote  of  our  daily  life. 

In  the  world  it  is  often  said:  Great  things  are 
possible  to  any  man  who  knows  what  he  wills,  and 
wills  it  with  all  his  heart.  The  student  who  has 
made  personal  devotion  to  Christ  his  watchword, 
will  find  in  the  morning  hour  the  place  where 
day  by  day  the  insight  into  his  holy  calling  is 

14  The  Inner  Chamber 

renewed;  where  his  will  is  braced  up  to  walk 
worthy  of  it;  and  his  faith  rewarded  by  the  pres- 
ence of  Christ  waiting  to  meet  him,  and  take 
charge  of  him  for  the  day.  We  are  more  than 
conquerors  through  Him  who  loves  us.  A  living 
Christ  waits  to  meet  us. 



"  When  thou  prayest  enter  into  thine  inner  chamber, 
and,  having  shut  thy  door,  pray  to  thy  Father,  which 
seeth  in  secret." — Matt.  vi.  6. 

Man  was  created  for  fellowship  with  God.  God 
made  him  in  His  own  image  and  likeness,  that  he 
might  be  fit  for  this,  capable  of  understanding 
and  enjoying  God,  entering  into  His  will  and 
delighting  in  His  glory.  Because  God  is  the 
Everywhere-present  and  All-pervading  One,  he 
could  have  lived  in  the  enjoyment  of  an  unbroken 
fellowship  amidst  whatever  work  he  had  to  do. 

Ofjhis  fellowship  sin  robbed  us. 

Nothing  but  this  fellowship  can  satisfy  the 
heart  of  either  man  or  God.  It  was  this  Christ 
came  to  restore;  to  bring  back  to  God  His  lost 
creature,  and  bring  back  man  to  all  he  was  created 
for.  Intercourse  with  God  is  the  consummation 
of  all  blessedness  on  earth  as  in  heaven.  It  comes 
when  the  promise,  so  often  given,  becomes  a  full 
experience:  I  will  be  with  thee,  I  will  never  leave 
thee  or  forsake  thee,  and  when  we  can  say:  The 
Father  is  always  with  me. 

This  intercourse  with  God  is  meant  to  be  ours 

i6  The  Inner  Chamber 

all  the  day,  whatever  be  our  condition  or  the  cir- 
cumstances that  surround  us.  But  its  enjoyment 
depends  mpon  the  reality  of  the  intercourse  in  the 
inner  chamber.  The  power  of  maintaining  close 
and  glad  fellowship  with  God  all  the  day  will 
depend  entirely  upon  the  intensity  with  which  we 
seek  to  secure  it  in  the  hour  of  secret  prayer.  The 
one  essential  thing  in  the  Morning  Watch  or  the 
Quiet  Hour  is — Fellowship  with  God. 

It  is  this  our  Lord  teaches  is  to  be  the  inner 
secret  of  secret  prayer :  "  Shut  thy  door,  and  pray 
to  thy  Father  which  seeth  in  secret."  The  first 
and  chief  thing  is,  see  that  there  in  secret  you  have 
the  Father's  Presence  and  Attention.  Know  that 
He  sees  and  hears  you.  Of  more  importance  than 
all  your  requests,  however  urgent,  of  more  im- 
portance than  all  your  earnestness  and  effort  to 
pray  aright,  is  this  one  thing — ^the  childlike,  living 
assurance  that  your  Father  sees  you,  that  you 
have  now  met  Him,  and  that  with  His  eye  on 
you  and  yours  on  Him,  you  are  now  enjoying 
actual  intercourse  with  Him. 

Christian!  there  is  a  terrible  danger  to  which 
you  stand  exposed  in  your  inner  chamber.  You 
are  in  danger  of  substituting  Prayer  and  Bible 
Study  for  living  fellowship  with  God,  the  living 
interchange  of  giving  Him  your  love,  your  heart, 
and  your  life,  and  receiving  from  Him  His  love. 
His  life,  and  His  spirit.  Your  needs  and  their 
expression,  your  desire  to  pray  humbly  and  ear- 
nestly and  believingly,  may  so  occupy  you,  that 

The  Door  Shut — Alone  with  God         17 

the  light  of  His  countenance  and  the  joy  of  His 
love  cannot  enter  you.  Your  Bible  Study  may  so 
interest  you,  and  so  waken  pleasing  religious  sen- 
timent, that — yes — the  very  Word  of  God  may 
become  a  substitute  for  God  Himself,  the  Great- 
est Hindrance  to  Fellowship  Because  it 
Keeps  the  Soul  Occupied  Instead  of  Leading 
IT  TO  God  Himself.  And  we  go  out  into  the  day's 
work  without, the  power  of  an  abiding  fellowship, 
because  in  our  morning  devotions  the  blessing 
was  not  secured. 

"WTiat  a  difference  it  would  make  in  the  life  of 
many,  if  everything  in  the  closet  were  subordinate 
to  this  one  thing :  I  want  through  the  day  to  walk 
with  God ;  my  morning  hour  is  the  time  when  my 
Father  enters  into  a  definite  engagement  with  me 
and  I  with  Him  that  it  shall  be  so.  What^strength 
would  be  imparted  by  the  consciousness:  God  has 
taken  charge  of  me,  He  is  going  with  me  Himself ; 
I  am  going  to  do  His  will  all  day  in  His  strength ; 
I  am  ready  for  all  that  may  come.  Yes,  what  a 
nobility  would  come  into  life,  if  secret  prayer  were 
not  only  an  asking  for  some  new  sense  of  comfort, 
or  light,  or  strength,  but  the  Giving  Away  of 
Life  Just  for  One^JJay  Into  the  Sure  and 
Safe   Ejeeping   of   a   Mighty   and   Faithful 


"  Pray  to  thy  Father  which  seeth  in  secret,  and 
thy  Father  which  seeth  in  secret  will  reward  thee 
openly."  Where  the  secret  fellowship  with  the 
Father  in  spirit  and  in  truth  is  maintained,  the 

1 8  The  Inner  Chamber 

public  life  before  men  will  carry  the  reward.  The 
Father  who  sees  in  secret  takes  charge  and  rewards 
openly.  Separation  from  men,  in  solitude-  with 
God — ^this  is  the  sure,  the  only  way  to  live  in  inter- 
course with  men  in  the  power  of  God^s  blessing. 



"  When  thou  fastest  anoint  thine  head,  and  wash  thy 
face  that  thou  appear  not  unto  men  to  fast,  but  to  thy 
Father  which  seeth  in  secret,  and  thy  Father  which 
seeth  in  secret  shall  reward  thee  openly." — Matt. 
vi.  17. 

"When  they  saw  the  boldness  of  Peter  and  John 
they  took  knowledge  of  them,  that  they  had  been  with 
Jesus." — Acts  iv.  13. 

"  And  it  came  to  pass  when  Moses  came  down  from 
Mount  Sinai,  that  he  wist  not  that  the  skin  of  his  face 
shone  while  he  talked  with  them.  And  when  Aaron 
and  all  the  children  of  Israel  saw  Moses,  behold,  the 
skin  of  his  face  shone ;  and  they  were  afraid  to  come 
nigh  to  him.  And  till  Moses  had  done  speaking  with 
them,  he  put  a  veil  upon  his  face." — Exod.  xxxiv. 

The  transition  from  the  fellowship  with  God  in 
the  morning  hour  to  the  intercourse  with  our  f el- 
lowmen  is  often  difficult.  If  we  have  met  God, 
we  long  to  maintain  the  sense  of  His  presence, 
and  our  surrender  to  Him.  We  go  out  to  the 
breakfast  table,  where,  perhaps  in  the  bosom  of 
our  own  family,  the  atmosphere  is  all  at  once 
changed,  and  as  the  presence  of  men  and  the 
visible  asserts  itself,  we  begin  to  lose  what  we  had 

20  The  Inner  Chamber 

found.  Many  a  3^oiing  Christian  has  been  per- 
plexed with  the  question  how  to  keep  his  heart 
filled  with  that  of  which  he  does  not  feel  at  liberty, 
or  has  not  the  opportunity,  to  speak.  Even  in 
religious  circles  it  is  not  always  easy  to  have  free 
intercourse,  through  lack  of  fervour  or  boldness, 
on  that  which  would  give  the  greatest  profit  and 
pleasure.  Let  us  strive  to  learn  how  our  inter- 
course with  men,  may  be,  instead  of  a  hindrance, 
a  help  to  the  maintenance  of  a  life  of  continual 
fellowship  with  God. 

The  lessons  which  the  story  of  Moses  with  the 
veil  on  his  face  teach,  are  very  suggestive.  Close 
and  continued  fellowship  with  God  will  in  due 
time  leave  its  mark  and  make  itself  manifest 
before  men.  Moses  wist  not  that  his  face  shone: 
the  light  of  God  shining  from  us  will  be  uncon- 
scious; it  will  but  deepen  the  sense  of  our  being 
an  earthen  vessel  (1  Cor.  ii.  3,  4,  and  2  Cor.  iv.). 
The  sense  of  God^s  presence  in  a  man  may  often 
cause  others  to  fear,  or  at  least  to  feel  ill  at  ease  in, 
his  company.  When  others  observe  what  is  to  be 
seen  in  him,  the  true  believer  will  know  what  it  is 
to  veil  his  face,  and  prove  by  humility  and  love 
that  he  is  indeed  a  man  of  like  passions  with  those 
around  him.  And  yet,  through  all,  there  will  be 
the  proof,  too,  that  he  is  a  man  of  God,  who  lives 
in,  and  has  dealings  with,  an  unseen  world. 

The  same  lessons  are  taught  by  what  our  Lord 
says  about  fasting.  Make  no  show  of  thy  fasting, 
so  that  thou  appear  not  unto  men  to  fast;  meet 

The  Open  Door— The  Open  Reward      21 

them  in  the  joy  and  kindness  of  God's  gentleness, 
as  the  Father's  beloved  and  loving  child.  Count 
UPON  God,  Who  Has  Seen  Thee  in  Secret,  to 
Eewaed  Thee  Openly,  to  Give  Thee  Grace  in 
Intercourse  with  Him,  and  to  Make  Them 
Know  That  His  Grace  and  Light  Are  on 

The  story  of  Peter  and  John  confirms  the  same 
truth:  they  had  been  with  Jesus  not  only  while 
He  was  on  earth,  but  as  He  entered  into  the  heav- 
enlies,  and  had  received  His  spirit.  They  simply 
acted  out  what  the  spirit  of  Christ  taught  them; 
even  enemies  could  see  by  their  boldness  that  they 
had  been  with  Jesus. 

The  blessing  of  intercourse  with  God  may  easily 
be  lost  by  entering  too  deeply  into  intercourse 
with  men.  The  spirit  of  the  inner  chamber  must 
be  carried  out  into  a  holy  watchfulness  throughout 
the  day.  We  know  not  at  what  hour  the  enemy 
may  come.  This  continuance  of  the  morning 
watch  may  be  maintained  by  a  quiet  self-restraint, 
in  not  giving  the  reins  to  nature.  It  has,  in  a 
religious  home  circle,  often  sought  help,  in  each 
one  repeating  a  text  at  the  breakfast  table  on  some 
fixed  subject,  giving  easy  occasion  to  religious 
conversation.  When  once  the  abiding  sense  of 
God's  presence  and  of  intercourse  with  Him — "  be 
thou  in  the  fear  of  God  all  the  day  long  "—has 
become  the  aim  of  the  morning  hour,  with  the 
deepest  humility  and  the  most  loving  intercourse 
with  those  around  us,  grace  will  be  sought  and 

22  The  Inner  Chamber 

found  to  pass  on  into  the  day's  duties  with  the 
continuity  of  fellowship  kept  unbroken.  It  is  a 
great  thing  to  enter  the  inner  chamber,  and  shut 
to  the  door,  and  meet  the  Father  in  secret.  It  is 
a  greater  thing  to  open  the  door  again,  and  go  out, 
in  an  enjoyment  of  that  Presence  which  nothing 
can  disturb. 

To  some,  such  a  life  does  not  appear  needful; 
the  strain  is  too  great ;  one  can  be  a  good  Christian 
without  it.  To  those  who  seek  to  be  men  of  one 
thing,  who  feel  that  if  they  are  to  be  true  and 
mighty  to  influence  the  church  and  the  world 
around  them  they  must  be  full  of  God  and  His 
Presence,  everything  will  be  subordinate  to  the  one 
question:  How  to  bear  in  the  earthen  vessel  the 
heavenly  treasure,  the  power  of  Christ  resting  on 
us  all  the  day. 


In  regard  to  the  connection  between  prayer  and 
the  word  in  our  private  devotion,  the  expression 
of  a  convert  from  heathenism  has  often  been 
quoted:  I  pray,  I  speak  to  God;  I  read  in  the 
Bible,  God  speaks  to  me.  There  is  a  verse  in  the 
history  of  Moses,  in  which  this  thought  is  beau- 
tifully brought  out.  We  read,  Numbers  vii,  89, 
"When  Moses  Was  Gone  into  the  Taber- 
nacle TO  Speak  with  God,  then  He  Heard  the 
Voice  or  One  Speaking  to  Him  from  off  the 
Mercy  Seat  :  and  God  Spake  unto  Him.''  When 
he  went  in  to  pray  for  himself  or  his  people,  and 
to  wait  for  instructions,  he  found  One  waiting  for 
him.  What  a  lesson  for  our  morning  watch,  JL. 
prayerful  spirit  is  the  spirit  to  which,  God.  will 
speak.  A  prayerful  spirit  will  be  a  listening  spirit 
waiting  to  hear  what  God  says.  In  the  inter- 
course with  God  His  presence  and  the  part  He 
takes  must  be  as  real  as  my  own.  We  want  to 
ask  what  is  needed  that  our  Scripture  reading 
and  praying  may  be  such  true  fellowship  with 

First,  Get  into  the  Eight  Place.    *^  Moses 
went  into  the  tabernacle  to  speak  with  God.''    He 

24  The  Inner  Chamber 

separated  himself  from  the  people,  and  went  where 
he  could  be  with  God  alone.  He^went  to  the  pla^e 
where  God  was  to  be  found.  Jesjis.  has  .told  us 
where  that  place  is.  He  calls  us  to  enter  into  our 
closet,  and  shut  the  door,  and  pray  to  our  Father 
which  seeth  in  secret.  Anywhere  where  we  really 
are  Alone  with  God  may  be  to  us  the  secret  of 
His  presence.  To  speak  with  God  needs  separa- 
tion from  all  else.  It  needs  a  heart  intently  set 
upon  and  in  full  expectation  of  meeting  God  per- 
sonally, and  having  direct  dealings  with  Him. 
Those  who  go  there  to  speak  to  God,  will  hear  the 
Voice  of  One  speaking  to  them. 

!^ext.  Get  into  the  Eight  Position.  He 
heard  the  Voice  of  One  speaking  from  off  the 
mercy  seat.  Bow  before  the  mercy  seat.  "There 
the  consciousness  of  your  unworthiness  wiU  not 
hinder  you,  but  be  a  real  help  in  trusting  God. 
There  you  may  have  the  assured  confidence  that 
your  upward  look  will  be  met  by  His  eye,  that  your 
prayer  can  be  heard,  that  His  loving  answer  will 
be  given.  Bow  before  the  mercy  seat,  and  be 
sure  that  the  God  of  Mercy  will  see  and  bless 

And  then.  Get  into  the  Right  Disposition — 
the  listening  attitude.  Many  are  so  occupied  with 
the  much  or  the  little  they  have  to  say  in  their 
prayers,  that  the  Voice  of  One  speaking  off  the 
mercy  seat  is  never  heard,  because  it  is  not  ex- 
pected or  waited  for.  "  Thus  saith  the  Lord,  The 
heaven  is  My  throne,  and  the  earth  is  My  foot- 

Moses  and  the  Word  of  God  25 

stool;  to  this  man  will  I  look,  even  to  him  that  is 
Poor  and  of  a  Coxtrite  Spirit,  and  Trem- 
BLETH  AT  My  Word."  Let  US  enter  the  closet,  and 
set  ourselves  to  pray,  with  a  heart  that  humbly 
waits  to  hear  God  speak;  in  the  Word  we  read-; 
we  shall  indeed  hear  the  Voice  of  One  speaking 
to  us.  The  highest  blessedness  of  prayer  will  be 
our  ceasing  to  pray,  to  let  God  speak. 

Prayer  and  the  Word  are  inseparably  linked  to- 
gether: power  in  the  use  of  either  depends  upon 
the  presence  of  the  other.  The  Word  gives  me 
matter  for  prayer,  telling  me  what  God  will  do 
for  me.  It  shows  me  the  path  of  prayer,  telling 
me  how  God  would  have  me  come.  It  gives  me 
the  power  for  praj^er,  the  courage  of  the  assurance 
I  will  be  heard.  And  it  brings  me  the  answer 
to  prayer,  as  it  teaches  what  God  will  do  for  me. 
And  so,  on  the  other  hand,  prayer  prepares  the  , 
heart  for  receiving  the  Word  from  God  Himself, 
for  the  teaching  of  the  Spirit  to  give  the  spiritual 
understanding  of  it,  for  the  faith  that  is  made 
partaker  of  its  mighty  working. 

It  is  clear  why  this  is  so.  Prayer  and  the  Word 
have  one  common  centre — God.  Prayer  seeks 
God :  the  Word  reveals  God.  In  prayer  man  askg 
God:  in  the  Word  God  answers  man.  In  prayer* 
man  rises  to  heaven  to  dwell  with  God:  in  the 
Word  God  comes  to  dwell  with  man.  In  prayer 
man  gives  himself  to  God:  in  the  Word  God 
gives  Himself  to  man. 

In  prayer  and  the  Word  it  must  be  all — God. 

26  The  Inner  Chamber 

Make  God  the  all  of  thy  heart,  the  one  object  of 
thy  desire;  prayer  and  the  Word  will  be  a  blessed 
fellowship  with  God,  the  interchange  of  thought, 
and  love  and  life :  a  dwelling  in  God  and  God  in 
us.    Seek  God  and  live! 



Before  Moses  was  the  patriarchal  dispensation, 
with  the  family  life,  and  the  power  the  fathers 
had,  marking  it.  Moses  is  the  first  man  appointed 
to  be  a  teacher  and  leader  of  men.  In  him  we 
find  wonderful  illustrations  of  the  place  and 
power  of  intercession  in  the  servant  of  God. 

Moses'  Prayers. — In  Egypt,  from  his  first  call, 
Moses  prayed.  He  asked  God  what  he  was  to  say 
to  the  people,  Exod.  iii.  11-13.  He  told  Him  all 
his  weakness,  and  besought  Him  to  be  relieved  of 
his  mission,  iv.  1-13.  When  the  people  reproached 
him  that  their  burdens  were  increased,  he  went 
and  told  God,  v.  22,  and  he  made  known  to  Him 
all  his  fears,  vi.  12.  This  was  his  first  training. 
Out  of  this  was  born  his  power  in  prayer  when, 
time  after  time,  Pharaoh  asked  him  to  entreat  the 
Lord  for  him,  and  deliverance  came  at  Moses'  re- 
quest (viii.  8,  9,  12,  28,  29,  30,  31;  ix.  28,  29,  33; 
X.  IT,  18).  Study  these  passages  until  you  come 
under  the  fuU  impression  of  how  real  a  factor  in 
Moses'  work  and  God's  redemption  prayer  was. 

At  the  Eed  Sea,  Moses  cried  to  God  with  the 
people  and  the  answer  came  (xiv.  15).  In  the 
wilderness  when  the  people  thirsted,  and  when 


28  The  Inner  Chamber 

Amalek  attacked  them,  it  was  also  prayer  that 
brought  deliverance  (xvii.  4,  11). 

At  Sinai,  when  Israel  had  made  the  Golden 
Calf,  it  was  prayer  that  at  once  averted  the  threat- 
ened destruction,  xxxii.  11,  14.  It  was  renewed 
prayer  that  gained  them  restoration,  xxxii.  31.  It 
was  more  prayer  that  secured  God's  presence  to 
go  with  them  (xxxiii.  17),  and  once  again  it  was 
prayer  that  brought  the  revelation  of  God's  glory 
(xxxiii.  19).  And  when  that  had  been  given  it 
was  fresh  prayer  that  received  the  renewal  of  the 
covenant,  xxxiv.  9,  10. 

In  Deuteronomy  we  have  a  wonderful  summary 
of  all  this,  ix.  18,  19,  20,  26;  we  see  with  what 
intensity  he  prayed,  and  how  in  one  case  it  was  for 
forty  days  and  forty  nights  that  he  fell  on  his 
face  before  the  Lord,  ix.  25;  x.  10. 

In  Numbers  we  read  of  Moses'  prayer  quench- 
ing the  fire  of  the  Lord,  xi.  2,  and  obtaining  the 
supply  of  meat;  xi.  2,  11,  of  prayer  healing 
Miriam,  xii.  13 ;  of  prayer  again  saving  the  nation 
when  they  had  refused  to  go  up  to  the  land,  xiv.  17- 
20.  Prayer  brought  down  judgment  on  Korah,  xvi. 
15,  and  when  God  would  consume  the  whole  con- 
gregation, prayer  made  atonement,  46.  Prayer 
brought  water  out  of  the  rock,  xx.  6,  and  in 
answer  to  prayer  the  brazen  serpent  was  given, 
xxi.  7.  To  prayer  God's  will  was  made  known  in 
a  case  of  difficulty,  xxvii.  5,  and  Joshua  given  as 
Moses'  successor,  16. 

Study  all  this  until  your  whole  heart  is  fiUed 

Moses,  the  Man  of  Prayer  29 

with  the  thought  of  the  part  prayer  must  play, 
may  play,  in  the  life  of  a  man  who  would  be  God's 
servant  to  his  fellowmen. 

As  we  study,  the  parts  will  unite  into  a  living 
whole  and  Moses  will  be  to  us  a  living  model  for 
our  prayer  life.  ^Ye  shall  learn  what  is  needed  to 
be  an  intercessor.  The  lessons  that  will  come  to 
us  will  be  such  as  these : — 

I  see  Moses  was  a  man  given  up  to  God,  zealous, 
yea,  jealous  for  God,  for  His  honour  and  will. 

A  man,  too,  absolutely  given  up  to  his  people, 
ready  to  sacrifice  himself,  if  they  may  be  saved. 

A  man  conscious  of  a  Divine  calling  to  act  as 
mediator,  to  be  the  link,  the  channel  of  com- 
munication and  of  blessing,  between  a  God  in 
heaven  and  men  on  earth.  A  life  so  entirely  pos- 
sessed by  this  mediatorial  consciousness  that 
nothing  can  be  more  simple  and  natural  than  to 
expect  that  God  will  hear. 

I  see  here  God  in  answer  to  the  prayers  of  one  . 
man  saves  and  blesses  those  He  has  entrusted  to  ^ 
him,  and  does  what  He  would  not  do  without  it. 
I  see  how  the  whole  government  of  God  has  taken 
up  prayer  into  its  plan  as  one  of  its  constituent 
parts.     I  see  how  heaven  is  filled  with  the  life     ^.-1  " 
and  power  and  blessing  earth  needs,  and  how  the  ;:./  =^^4.. 
prayer  of  earth  is  the  power  to  bring  that  blessing   ,  ,  ^  .^J, 

I  see  above  all  how  prayer  is  an  index  of  the 
spiritual  life,  and  how  its  power  depends  upon  my 
relation  to  God,  and  the  consciousness  of  being 

30  The  Inner  Chamber 

His  representative.  He  entrusts  His  work  to  me, 
and  the  more  simple  and  entire  my  devotion  to 
His  interests  are,  the  more  natural  and  certain 
becomes  the  assurance  that  He  hears  me. 

Think  of  the  place  God  had  in  Moses'  life,  as 
the  God  who  had  sent  him,  the  God  to  whom  he 
was  wholly  devoted,  the  God  who  had  promised 
to  be  with  him,  and  who  would  and  did  always 
help  him  when  and  as  he  prayed. 

Now  for  the  practical  application :  How  to  learn 
to  pray  like  Moses?  We  cannot  secure  this  grace 
by  an  act  of  the  will.  Our  first  lesson  must  be, 
the  sense  of  impotence.  Then  grace  will  work  it 
in  us,  slowly  and  surely,  if  we  give  ourselves  into 
its  training.  But  though  the  training  will  be 
gradual,  there  is  one  thing  can  be  done  at  once, 
we  can  at  once  decide  to  give  ourselves  to  this 
life  and  take  up  the  right  position.  Do  this  now, 
take  the  decision,  to  Live  Entirely  to  Be  a 
Channel  for  God's  Blessing  to  Flow  through 
You  TO  THE  World.  Take  the  Step.  If  need 
be,  take  ten  minutes  for  deliberate  thought.  Ac- 
cept the  Divine  appointment,  and  take  up  some 
object  of  intercession. 

Take  time,  say  a  week,  and  get  firm  hold  of  the 
elementary  truths  Moses'  example  teaches.  As  a 
music  teacher  insists  upon  practising  the  scales — 
only  practice  makes  perfect — set  yourself  to  learn 
thoroughly  and  to  apply  the  needed  first  lessons. 

God  seeks  men  through  whom  He  can  bless  the 
world.    Say  definitely.  Here  am  I :  I  will  give  my 

Moses,  the  Man  of  Prayer  31 

life  to  this.  Cultivate  large  faith  in  the  simple 
truth :  God  hears  prayer ;  God  will  do  what  I  ask. 
Give  yourself  as  wholly  to  men  as  to  God,  and 
set  your  eyes  open  to  a  sense  of  the  need  of  a 
perishing  world.  Take  up  your  position  in  Christ, 
and  in  the  power  which  His  Name,  and  Life  and 
Spirit  give  you.  And  go  on  practising  definite 



"Moses,  the  man  of  God,  blessed  the  children  of 
Israel." — D"eut.  xxxiii.  1 

The  man  of  God!  How  much  the  name  means! 
A  man  who  comes  from  God,  chosen  and  sent  of 
Him.  A  man  who  walks  with  God,  lives  in  His 
fellowship  and  carries  the  mark  of  His  presence. 
A  man  who  lives  for  God  and  His  will;  whose 
whole  being  is  pervaded  and  ruled  by  the  glory 
of  God;  who  involuntarily  and  unceasingly  leads 
men  to  think  of  God.  A  man  in  whose  heart  and 
life  God  has  taken  the  right  place  as  the  All  in 
All,  and  who  has  only  one  desire,  that  He  should 
have  that  place  throughout  the  world. 

Such  men  of  God  are  what  the  world  needs; 
such  are  what  God  seeks,  that  He  may  fill  them 
with  Himself,  and  send  them  into  the  world  to 
help  others  to  know  Him.  Such  a  man  JMoses 
was  so  distinctly  that  men  naturally  spoke  of  him 
thus — Moses,  the  man  of  God !  Such  a  man  every 
servant  of  God  ought  to  aim  at  being — a  living 
witness  and  proof  of  what  God  is  to  him  in  heaven, 
and  is  to  him  on  earth,  and  what  He  claims  to 
be  in  all. 

In  a  previous  chapter  we  spoke  of  Intercourse 
with  God  as  what  man  had  been  created  for,  as 

Moses,  the  Man  of  God  33 

the  privilege  of  daily  life,  as  what  was  to  be  our 
first  care  in  the  morning  watch.  What  was  there 
said  had  chiefly  reference  to  our  personal  need, 
and  the  power  of  a  godly  happy  life  influencing 
others.  The  name,  Moses,  the  man  of  God!  and 
the  thought  of  a  man  being  so  closely  and  mani- 
festly linked  to  God  that  men  as  by  instinct  gave 
this  as  his  chief  characteristic — the  man  of  God! 
— ^leads  us  farther.  It  brings  us  out  into  public 
life,  it  suggests  the  idea  of  the  impression  we 
make  upon  men,  and  the  power  we  can  have  of 
so  carrying  the  sign  of  God^s  holy  presence  with 
us  that  when  men  see  us  or  think  of  us,  the  name 
shall  at  once  suggest  itself — The  Man  of  God. 

These  are  the  men  the  world  and  God  equally 
need^  And  why?  Because  the  world,  by  sin,  has 
fallen  away  from  God.  Because  in  Christ  the 
world  has  been  redeemed  for  God.  And  because 
God  has  no  way  of  showing  men  what  they  ought 
to  be,  of  awakening  and  calling  and  helping  them, 
but  through  men  of  God,  in  whom  His  life.  His 
spirit.  His  power  are  working.  Man  was  created 
for  God,  that  God  might  live  and  dwell  and  work 
and  show  forth  His  glory  in  him  and  through  him. 
God  was  to  be  his  all  in  all.  The  indwelling  of 
God  was  to  be  as  natural  and  delightful  as  it  is 
true,  strange  and  incomprehensible.  When  the 
redemption  of  Christ  was  completed  in  the  de- 
scent of  God  the  Holy  Spirit  into  the  hearts  of 
men,  this  indwelling  was  restored,  God  regained 
possession  of  His  home.    And  where  a  man  Gives 

34  The  Inner  Chamber 

Himself  up  Wholly  to  the  Presence  of  the 
Holy  Spirit,  not  only  as  a  power  working  in  him, 
but  AS  God  Dwelling  in  Him  (John  xiv.  16,  20, 
23;  1  John  iv.)  he  may  become,  in  the  deepest 
meaning  of  the  word,  A  Man  of  God  ! 

Paul  tells  us  that  it  is  through  the  power  of 
/Holy  Scripture  that  "the  man  of  God  is  com- 
plete." This  suggests  that  with  some  the  life  is 
imperfect,  and  needs  to  be  made  perfect.  "  Every 
scripture  is  inspired  of  God,  and  is  profitable  for 
teaching,  for  reproof,  for  correction,  for  instruc- 
tion in  righteousness,  that  the  Man  of  God  May 
BE  Complete,  furnished  completely  to  every  good 
work."  This  brings  us  again  to  the  morning 
watch  as  the  chief  time  for  personal  Bible  study. 
It  is  as  we  yield  heart  and  life  to  the  Word,  for 
God  through  its  teaching,  its  reproof,  its  correc- 
tion, its  instruction  to  search  and  form  our  whole 
life,  and  be  thus  come  under  the  direct  operation 
of  God,  and  into  full  intercourse  with  Him,  that 
the  Man  of  God  Will  be  Complete — furnished 
to  every  good  work. 

Oh !  for  grace  to  be  truly  a  man  of  God !  A 
man  that  knows  and  proves  these  three  things; 
God  is  all ;  God  claims  all ;  God  works  all.  A  man 
that  has  seen  the  place  God  has  in  His  universe 
and  in  men — He  is  the  All  in  All!  A  man 
who  has  understood  that  God  Asks  and  Must 
Have  All,  and  who  only  lives  to  give  God  His 
due  and  His  glory !  A  man  who  has  discovered  the 
great  secret  that  God  Works  All,  and  seeks,  like 

Moses,  the  Man  of  God  35 

the  Son  of  God,  to  live  in  the  unceasing  blessed 
dependence  that  the  Father  in  Him  speaks  the 
words  and  does  the  work. 

Brother!  seek  to  be  a  man  of  God!  Let  God 
in  the  morning  watch  be  all  to  thee.  Let  God 
during  the  day  be  all  to  thee.  And  let  thy  life  be 
devoted  to  one  thing,  to  bring  men  to  God,  and 
God  to  men,  so  that  in  His  Church,  and  in  the 
world,  God  may  have  the  place  due  to  Him. 

"  If  I  be  a  man  of  God,  let  fire  come  down  from 
heaven."  Thus  answered  Elijah  when  the  captain 
called  him  to  come  down.  The  true  God  is  the 
God  who  answers  by  fire.  And  the  true  man  of 
God  is  he  who  knows  how  to  call  down  the  fire, 
because  he  has  power  with  the  God  of  heaven. 
Whether  the  fire  be  that  of  judgment  or  the  Holy 
Spirit,  the  work  of  the  man  of  God  is  to  bring 
fire  down  to  earth.  "VHiat  the  world  needs  is  the 
man  of  God  who  knows  God's  power,  and  his  power 
with  God. 

Do  believe  that  it  is  in  the  secret  prayer  habit, 
of  daily  life  that  we  learn  to  know  our  God,  and 
His  fire,  and  our  power  with  Him.  Oh !  to  know 
what  it  is  to  be  a  man  of  God,  and  what  it  implies. 

In  Elijah  as  in  Moses  we  see  how  it  just  means 
a  separation  from  every  other  interest,  an  entire 
identification  with  the  honour  of  God,  no  longer 
a  man  of  the  world,  but  a  Max  of  God. 

There  is  a  secret  feeling  that  aU  this  brings 
more  strain  and  sacrifice,  difficulty  and  danger, 
than  we  are  ready  for.    This  is  only  true  as  long 


36  The  Inner  Chamber 

as  we  have  not  seen  how  absolute  God's  claim  is, 
how  unutterably  blessed  it  is  to  yield  to  it,  and 
how  certain  that  God  Himself  will  work  it  in  us. 
Turn  back  now  and  look  at'^Moses,  the  man^f 
prayer,  'Moses,  the  man  of  the  word,  and  see  how  ^^ 
out  of  these  three  grew — Moses,  the  man  of  God. 
'  •'■'^See  the  same  in  the  life  of  Elijah — the  harmony 
between  our  hearing  God's  word  and  His  hearing 
ours,  and  the  way  in  which  it  becomes  Divinely 
possible  to  be  and  live — A  Man  of  God.  And 
study  then  the  application. 



"The  word  of  God  which  worketh  in  you  that  be- 
lieve."— 1  Thess.  ii.  12. 

The  value  of  the  words  of  a  man  depends  upon 
my  knowledge  of  him  who  speaks.  What  a  differ- 
ence when  a  man  gives  me  the  promise,  I  will 
give  you  the  half  of  all  I  have,  whether  the  speaker 
be  a  poor  man  who  owns  a  shilling,  or  a  million- 
aire who  offers  to  share  his  fortune  with  me.  One 
of  the  first  requisites  to  fruitful  Bible  study  is  the 
knowledge  of  God  as  the  Omnipotent  One,  and 
of  the  power  of  His  word. 

The  power  of  God's  word  is  infinite.  "  By  the 
word  of  the  Lord  were  the  heavens  made.  He 
spake  and  it  was  done;  He  commanded  and  it 
stood  fast.''  In  the  word  of  God  His  omnipotence 
works:  it  has  creative  power  and  calls  into  exis- 
tence THE  Very  Thing  op  Which  It  Speaks. 

As  the  word  of  the  Living  God  it  is  a  living 
word,  and  gives  life.  It  can  not  only  call  into 
existence,  but  even  make  alive  again  that  which  is 
dead.  Its  quickening  power  can  raise  dead  bodies, 
can  give  eternal  life  to  dead  souls.  All  spiritual 
life  comes  through  it,  for  we  are  born  of  incor- 
ruptible seed  by  the  word  of  God  that  liveth  and 
abideth  for  ever. 


38  The  Inner  Chamber 

Here  there  lies,  hidden  from  many,  one  of  the 
deepest  secrets  of  the  blessing  of  God's  word — the 
faith  in  its  creative  and  quickening  energy.  The 
Word  Will  Work  in  Me  the  Very  Disposition 
OR  Grace  Which  it  Commands  or  Promises. 
^'It  worketh  effectually  in  them  that  believe." 
Nothing  can  resist  its  power  when  received  into 
the  heart  through  the  Holy  Spirit  "  It  worketh 
effectually  in  them  that  believe."  "  The  voice  of 
the  Lord  is  in  power."  Everything  depends  upon 
learning  the  art  of  receiving  that  word  into  the 
heart.  And  in  learning  this  art  the  first  step  is — 
Faith  in  Its  Living,  Its  Omnipotent,  Its 
Creative  Power.  By  His  word  "  God  calleth  the 
things  that  are  not,  as  though  they  were." 

As  true  as  this  is  of  all  God's  mighty  deeds  from 
creation  on  to  the  resurrection  of  the  dead,  it  is 
true  too  of  every  word  spoken  to  us  in  His  holy 
book.  Two  things  keep  us  from  believing  this  as 
we  should.  The  one  is  the  terrible  experience  in 
all  around,  and  perhaps  in  ourselves  too,  of  the 
word  being  made  of  none  effect  by  human  wisdom 
or  unbelief  or  worldliness.  The  other  the  neglect 
of  the  teaching  of  Scripture  that  the  word  is  a 
seed.  Seeds  are  small,  seeds  may  be  long  dormant, 
seeds  have  to  be  hidden,  and  when  they  sprout  are 
of  slow  growth.  Because  the  action  of  God's  word 
is  hidden  and  unobserved,  slow  and  apparently 
feeble,  we  do  not  believe  in  its  omnipotence.  Let 
us  make  it  one  of  our  first  lessons.  The  word  I 
study  is  the  power  of  God  unto  salvation;  It 

The  Power  of  God's  Word  39 

Will  Work  in  Me  in  All  I  Need,  All  the 
Father  Asks. 

What  a  prospect  this  faith  would  open  up  for 
our  spiritual  life !  We  should  see  all  the  treasures 
and  blessings  of  God's  grace  to  be  within  our 
reach.  The  word  has  power  to  enlighten  our  dark- 
ness :  in  our  hearts  it  will  bring  the  light  of  God, 
the  sense  of  His  love,  and  the  knowledge  of  His 
will.  The  word  can  fill  us  with  strength  and  cour- 
age to  conquer  every  enemy,  and  to  do  whatever 
God  asks  us  to  do.  The  word  would  cleanse,  and 
sanctify,  would  work  in  us  faith  and  obedience, 
would  become  in  us  the  seed  of  every  trait  in  the 
likeness  of  our  Lord.  Through  the  word  the 
Spirit  would  lead  us  into  all  truth,  that  is,  make 
all  that  is  in  the  word  true  in  us,  and  so  prepare 
our  heart  to  be  the  habitation  of  the  Father  and 
the  Son. 

What  a  change  would  come  over  our  relation  to 
God's  word  and  to  the  Morning  watch  if  we  really 
believed  this  simple  truth.  Let  us  begin  our 
training  for  that  ministry  of  the  word  which  every 
believer  must  exercise,  by  proving  its  power  in  our 
own  experience.  Let  us  begin  to  seek  this,  quietly 
setting  ourselves  to  learn  the  great  faith-lesson,  the 
mighty  power  of  God's  word.  Nothing  less  than 
this  is  meant  by  saying:  the  Word  of  God  Is 
True!  because  God  himself  will  make  it  true  in 
us.  We  shall  have  much  to  learn  in  regard  to 
what  hinders  that  power,  much  to  overcome  to  be 
freed  from  these  hindrances,  much  to  surrender  to 

40  The  Inner  Chamber 

receive  that  working.  But  all  will  come  right  if 
we  will  only  set  out  upon  our  Bible  study  with  the 
determined  resolve  to  believe  that  God's  Word 
Has  Omnipotent  Power  in  the  Heart  to 
Work  Every  Blessing  oe  Which  It  Speaks. 



I  THINK  it  may  be  confidently  said  that  in  all 
nature  there  is  no  other  illustration  of  what  the 
Word  of  God  is,  so  true,  so  full  of  meaning,  as 
that  of  the  seed.  To  have  a  full  spiritual  insight 
into  it  is  a  wonderful  means  of  grace. 

The  points  of  resemblance  are  easily  stated. 
There  is  the  apparent  insignificance  of  the  seed — 
a  little  thing  as  compared  with  the  tree  that 
springs  from  it.  There  is  the  life,  enclosed  and 
dormant  within  a  husk.  There  is  the  need  of  a 
suitable  soil,  without  which  growth  is  impossible. 
There  is  the  slow  growth  with  its  length  of  time 
calling  for  the  long  patience  of  the  husbandman. 
And  there  is  the  fruit,  in  which  the  seed  repro- 
duces and  multiplies  itself.  In  all  these  respects, 
the  seed  teaches  us  most  precious  lessons  as  to  our 
use  of  God's  Word. 

There  is  first  the  Lesson  op  Faith.  Faith 
does  not  look  at  appearances.  As  far  as  we  can 
judge,  it  looks  most  improbable  that  a  Word  of 
God  should  give  life  in  the  soul,  should  work  in 
us  the  very  grace  of  which  it  speaks,  should  trans- 
form our  whole  character,  should  fill  us  with 
strength.  And  yet  so  it  is.  When  once  we  have 
learned  to  believe  that  the  Word  can  work  effectu- 

42  The  Inner  Chamber 

ally  the  very  truth  of  which  it  is  the  expression; 
we  have  found  one  of  the  chief  secrets  of  our 
Bible  Study.  We  shall  then  receive  each 
word  as  the  pledge  and  the  power  of  a  Divine 

Then  there  is  tpie  Lesson-  of  Labour.  The 
seed  needs  to  be  gathered,  and  kept,  and  put  into 
the  prepared  soil.  And  so  the  mind  has  to  gather 
from  scripture  and  understand  and  pass  on  to 
the  heart,  as  the  only  soil  on  which  this  heavenly 
seed  can  grow,  the  words  which  meet  our  need. 
We  cannot  give  the  life  or  the  growth.  Nor  do 
we  need  to :  it  is  there.  But  what  we  can  do  is  to 
hide  the  Word  in  our  heart,  and  keep  it  there, 
waiting  for  the  sunshine  that  comes  from 

And  the  seed  teaches  the  Lesson  of  Patience. 
The  effect  of  the  Word  on  the  heart  is  in  most 
cases  not  immediate.  It  needs  time  to  strike  root, 
and  grow  up:  Christ's  words  must  abide  in  us. 
We  must  not  only  day  by  day  increase  our  store 
of  Bible  knowledge — this  is  only  like  gathering 
the  grain  in  a  barn — ^but  watch  over  those  words 
of  command  or  promise  that  we  have  specially 
taken,  and  allow  them  room  in  our  heart  to  spread 
both  root  and  branches.  We  need  to  know  what 
seed  we  have  put  in,  and  to  cultivate  a  watchful 
but  patient  expectancy.  In  due  time  we  shall  reap, 
if  we  faint  not. 

And  last  comes  the  Lesson  of  Fruitfulness. 
However  insignificant  that  little  seed  of  a  Word 

The  Seed  is  the  Word  43 

of  God  appears,  however  feeble  its  life  may  seem, 
however  deep  hidden  the  very  thought  of  what  it 
speaks  may  be,  and  however  trying  the  slowness  of 
its  growth  may  be  to  our  patience — be  sure  the  fruit 
will  come.  The  very  truth  and  life  and  power  of 
God,  of  which  the  Word  contained  the  thought, 
will  grow  and  ripen  within  you.  And  just  as  a 
seed  bears  a  fruit,  containing  the  same  seed  for 
new  reproduction,  so  the  Word  will  not  only  bring 
you  the  fruit  it  promised,  but  that  fruit  will  each 
time  become  a  seed  which  you  carry  to  others  to 
give  life  and  blessing. 

Not  only  the  Word,  but  "the  kingdom  of 
heaven  is  like  a  seed."  And  all  the  grace  of  it 
comes  in  no  other  way  than  as  a  hidden  seed  in 
the  heart  of  the  regenerate.  Christ  is  a  seed. 
The  Holy  Spirit  is  a  seed.  The  love  of  God  shed 
abroad  in  the  heart  is  a  seed.  The  exceeding 
greatness  of  the  power  that  worketh  in  us  is  a 
seed.  The  hidden  life  is  there  in  the  heart,  but 
not  at  once  or  always  felt  in  its  power.  The 
Divine  glory  is  there,  but  often  without  form  or 
comeliness,  to  be  known  only  by  faith,  to  be 
counted  and  acted  on  even  when  not  felt,  to  be 
waited  for  in  its  springing  forth  and  its  growth. 

As  this  central  truth  each  time  is  firmly  grasped 
and  held  as  the  law  of  all  the  heavenly  life  on 
earth,  the  study  of  God^s  word  becomes  an  act  of 
faith  and  surrender  and  dependence  upon  the 
living  God.  I  believe  humbly,  almost  tremblingly, 
in  the  Divine  seed  that  there  is  in  the  Word,  and 

44  The  Inner  Chamber 

the  power  of  God's  Spirit  to  make  it  true  in  my 
life  and  experience.  I  yield  my  heart  hungrily 
and  wholly  to  receive  this  Divine  seed.  And  I 
wait  on  God  in  absolute  dependence  and  confidence 
to  give  the  increase  in  a  power  above  what  we  can 
ask  or  think. 



"  But  Jesus  said,  *  Yea  rather,  blessed  are  they  that 
hear  the  word  of  God,  and  keep  it.' " — Luke  ii.  28. 

"  If  any  man  willeth  to  do  His  will,  he  shall  know.^* 
— John  vii.  17. 

Some  time  ago  I  received  a  letter  from  one  who 
was  evidently  an  earnest  Christian,  asking  me  for 
some  hints  to  help  him  in  Bible  study.  My  first 
thought  was  to  answer  that  there  are  so  many  ad- 
dresses and  booklets  on  the  subject,  that  he  would 
find  all  I  could  say,  better  said  already.  After  a 
little  while,  certain  experiences  in  my  own  imme- 
diate circle  made  me  feel  how  needful  instruction 
was  on  this  all-important  subject,  and  I  found 
there  were  points  to  which  it  appeared  desirable 
that  special  prominence  should  be  given.  I  take 
up  my  pen  with  the  earnest  prayer  and  hope  that 
what  I  write  may  be  from  God,  the  fountain  of 
Light  and  Life,  to  help  His  young  children  to 
see  how  they  may  draw  from  His  precious  Word 
all  that  Divine  instruction  and  nourishment,  all 
that  abundant  joy  and  strength  which  He  has 
there  laid  up  for  them. 

I  suppose  myself  addressing  a  young  Christian 
who  has  said  to  me, — Help  me  to  study  my  Bible. 

46  The  Inner  Chamber 

Give  me  some  rules  to  guide  me  as  to  how  to 
begin,  and  how  to  go  on,  so  that  I  may  know  my 
Bible  well.  The  very  first  thing  I  have  to.  say  to 
him,  the  thing  that  comes  before  all  else,  is  this : — 
In  your  Bible  study  everything  will  depend  upon 
the  spirit  in  which  you  come  to  it,  upon  the  Object 
or  End  you  propose  to  yourself.  In  worldly 
things  a  man  is  ruled  and  urged  on  by  the  End 
or  Aim  he  sets  before  himself.  It  is  not  otherwise 
with  the  Bible.  If  your  aim  be  simply  to  know 
the  Bible  well,  you  will  be  disappointed.  If  you 
think  that  the  thorough  knowledge  of  the  Bible 
will  necessarily  be  a  blessing,  you  are  mistaken. 
To  some  it  is  a  curse.  To  others  it  is  powerless, 
it  does  not  make  them  either  holy  or  happy.  To 
some  it  is  a  burden,  it  depresses  them  instead  of 
quickening  them  or  lifting  them  up. 

And  what  ought  then  to  be  the  Aim  or  End, 
the  real  disposition  of  the  Bible  student?  God's 
word  is  food,  bread  from  heaven;  the  first  need 
for  Bible  study  is: — ^A  Great  Hunger  After 
EiGHTEOusxESS, — a  great  desire  to  Do  All  God's 
Will.  The  Bible  is  a  light:  the  first  condition 
to  its  enjoyment  is — a  Hearty  Longing  to  Walk 
IN  God's  Ways.  Is  not  this  what  the  texts  I  have 
placed  above  teach  us?  "Blessed  are  they  that 
hear  the  word  of  God  and  Keep  It''  There  is 
no  blessedness  in  hearing  or  knowing  God's  word 
apart  from  Ejeeping  It.  The  word  is  nothing  if 
it  be  not  kept,  obeyed,  done.  "If  any  man 
willeth  TO  Do  His  Will,  he  shall  Know."    Ac- 

Doing  and  Knowing  47 

cording  to  this  saying  of  our  Lord,  all  true  knowl- 
edge of  God^s  word  depends  upon  there  being  first 
THE  Will  to  Do  It.  Is  not  this  the  very  lesson 
we  are  enforcing.  God  will  refuse  to  unlock  the 
real  meaning  and  blessing  of  His  word  to  any 
but  those  Whose  Will  Is  Definitely  Set  Upon- 
Doing  It.  I  must  read  my  Bible  with  one  pur- 
pose— "  Whatsoever  He  saith  unto  you,  Do  It.^' 

Why  this  should  be  so,  is  easily  ascertained 
when  we  think  of  what  Words  are  meant  for. 
They  stand  between  the  will  and  the  deed.  A 
man  wills  to  do  something  for  you;  before  he 
does  it,  he  expresses  his  thought  or  purpose  in 
words;  then  he  fulfils  the  words  by  doing  what 
he  has  promised.  Even  so  with  God.  His  words 
have  their  value  from  what  He  does.  In  creation 
His  word  was  with  power:  He  spake  and  it  was 
done.  In  grace  He  does  what  He  says.  David 
prays  (2  Samuel  vii.  25)  "Do  as  Thou  hast 
Spoken."  Solomon  says  at  the  consecration  of 
the  temple — "Who  hath  with  His  hand  Ful- 
filled that  which  He  Spake  with  His  Mouth"; 
"who  hath  Performed  His  word  that  He 
Spake";  "who  hast  Kjept  that  which  Thou 
didst  Promise;  "who  Spake  It  with  Thy 
mouth,  and  hast  fulfilled  with  Thy  hand";  "let 
Thy  word  be  verified,  which  Thou  hast  spoken." 
(2  Chron.  vi.  4,  10,  15,  16.)  In  the  prophets, 
God  says,  "I  the  Lord  have  spoken  it;  I  Will 
Do  It.''  And  they  say,  "  What  Thou  hast  spoken, 
Is  Done.''    The  truth  and  the  worth  of  what  God 

48  The  Inner  Chamber 

promises  consists  in  this,  that  He  Does  It.  His 
word  of  promise  is  meant  to  be  done. 

This  is  no  less  true  of  His  word  of  command, 
of  things  which  He  meant  IJs  to  Do.  If  we  do 
not  do  them,  if  we  seek  to  know  them,  if  we  admire 
their  beauty  and  praise  their  wisdom,  but  do  not 
Do  Them,  we  delude  ourselves.  They  are  meant 
To  Be  Done;  it  is  only  as  we  do  them  that  their 
real  meaning  and  blessing  can  be  unfolded  to  us. 
It  is  only  as  we  do  them,  that  we  really  can  grow 
in  the  Divine  life.  "Walk  worthy  of  the  Lord 
unto  all  pleasing,  bearing  fruit  unto  Every  Good 
Work  (this  first,  then)  and  increasing  in  the 
Knowledge  of  God.^^  It  is  only  when  we  ap- 
proach God's  words  with  the  same  object  which 
God  had  in  view  That  They  Should  Be  Done, 
that  we  can  have  any  hope  of  blessing. 

Is  this  not  what  we  see  all  around  us  in  the 
pursuit  of  knowledge,  or  in  any  branch  of  trade? 
The  apprentice  or  pupil  is  expected  to  put  the 
lessons  he  receives  into  practice;  only  then  is  he 
prepared  for  further  teaching.  And  even  so  in 
the  Christian  life,  Bible  study  is  mere  theory,  a 
pleasing  exercise  of  mind  and  imagination,  worth 
little  or  nothing  for  a  life  of  true  holiness  or 
Christlikeness,  until  the  student  be  ready  never  to 
open  or  close  his  Bible  without  making  God's 
purpose  His  very  own,  and  hearkening  when  He 
says — "  Do  All  that  I  Speak." 

This  was  the  mark  of  the  saints  of  old.  "So 
Abram  went,  as  the  Lord  had  spoken  to  him.'* 

Doing  and  Knowing  49 

"  As  the  Lord  had  commanded  Moses,  so  did  he/' 
is  the  description  of  the  man  who  as  a  servant  was 
faithful  in  all  his  house.  And  of  David  we 
read: — "I  have  found  a  man  after  mine  own 
heart,  who  shall  do  all  my  will/'  In  Psalm  cxix. 
we  hear  him  speaking  with  God  about  His  word, 
and  praying  for  Divine  light  and  teaching,  but 
ever  accompanied  by  the  vow  of  obedience,  or 
some  other  expression  of  love  and  delight.  It  is 
the  doing  of  God's  will,  that  even  with  God's 
own  Son,  is  the  one  secret  of  entrance  into  the 
favour  and  the  mind  of  God. 

I  have  just  been  reading  Mr.  Moody's  new 
book,  "  Pleasure  and  Profit  in  Bible  Study."  I 
doubt  not  but  many  will  avail  themselves  of  the 
suggestions  it  contains.  They  will  think  rightly, 
what  has  helped  a  man  like  Mr.  Moody,  can  help 
me  too.  And  yet  they  may  be  disappointed.  They 
must  be,  unless  they  bring  to  the  Bible  what-  Mr. 
Moody  brought :  an"  Honest  Desire  to  Do  What- 
ever He  Saw  God  Wanted  Him  to  Do.  Young 
Christian!  I  beseech  you  by  the  mercies  of  God, 
when  you  ask  God  to  lead  you  into  the  treasures 
of  His  word,  into  the  palace  where  Christ  dwells, 
do  it  as  one  who  presents  himself  a  living  sacrifice, 
Eeady  to  Do  Whatever  God  Shall  Speak.  Do 
not  think  this  a  matter  of  course.  It  is  of  deeper 
importance  than  you  know.  This  is  more  fre- 
quently absent  from  Bible  study  than  you  think. 
Seek  for  it  with  deep  humility.  The  first  need 
for  enjoying  your  food  is  hunger.     The  first  re- 

50  The  Inner  Chamber 

quirement  for  the  Bible  study  is  A  Simple,  De- 
termined Longing  to  Find  out  What  God 
Wants  You  to  Do,  and  a  Dead-in-earnest 
Kesolve  to  Do  It.  "  If  any  man  willeth  to  Do 
His  Will,  he  shall  know  of  the  teaching"— to 
him  the  word  of  God  will  be  opened  up. 



*'  Be  ye  doers  of  the  word,  and  not  hearers  only, 
deluding  your  own  selves.  But  .  .  .  being  not  a 
hearer  that  forgetteth,  but  a  doer  that  worketh,  this 
man  shall  be  blessed  in  his  doing." — James  i.  22-25. 

What  a  terrible  delusion  to  be  content  with,  to 
delight  in  hearing  the  word,  and  yet  not  to  do  it. 
And  how  terriblj  jcommon,  the  sight  of  multi- 
tudes of  Christians  listening  to  the  word  of  God 
most  regularly  and  earnestly,  and  yet  not  doing 
it.  If  their  own_^servant  were  to  do  so,  hearing 
but  Not  Doixg^  how  summary  the  judgment 
would  be.  And  yet,  so  complete  is  the  delusion, 
they  never  know  that  they  are  not  living  good 
Christian  lives.  .What  can  it  be  that  thus  deludes 

There  is  more  than  one  thing.  One  is  that 
people  mistake  the  pleasure  they  have  in  hearing, 
for  religion  and  worship.  The  mind  delights  in 
having  the  truth  put  clearly  before  it;  the  imagi- 
nation is  gratified  by  its  illustration;  the  feelings 
are  stirred  by  its  application.  To  an  active  mind 
knowledge  gives  pleasure.  A  man  may  study 
some  branch  of  science — say  electricity — for  the 
enjoyment  the  knowledge  gives  him,  without  the 
least  intention  of  applying  it  practically.  And 

52  The  Inner  Chamber 

so  people  go  to  church,  and  enjoy  the  preaching, 
AND  Yet  do  not  Do  What  God  Asks.  The 
unconverted  and  the  converted  man  alike  remain 
content  to  go  on  in  doing  and  confessing,  and 
still  doing  the  things  which  they  ought  not  to  do. 

Another  cause  of  this  delusion  is  the  terrible 
perversion  of  the  doctrine  of  our  impotence  to 
good.  The  grace  of  Christ  to  enable  us  to  obey, 
to  keep  from  sinning  and  really  to  make  us  holy, 
is  so  little  believed,  that  men  practically  think 
that  there  is  a  necessity  of  siiming  on  them.  God 
cannot  expect  an  exact  obedience  of  them,  for 
He  knows  they  cannot  render  it.  This  error  cuts 
away  the  very  root  of  a  determined  purpose  to  do 
all  God  has  said.  It  closes  the  heart  to  any 
earnest  desire  to  believe  and  experience  all  God's 
grace  can  do  in  us,  and  keeps  men  self-contented 
in  the  midst  of  sin.  Hearing  and  not  doing — 
what  terrible  self-delusion. 

There  is  a  third  reason  for  it,  having  special 
reference  to  private  Bible  reading.  The  hearing 
or  reading  is  regarded  as  a  duty,  the  performance 
of  which  is  considered  to  be  a  religious  service. 
We  have  spent  our  five  or  ten  minutes  in  the 
morning  reading;  we  have  read  thoughtfully  and 
attentively;  we  have  tried  to  take  in  what  was 
read:  a  duty  faithfully  performed  eases  the  con- 
science, and  gives  a  sense  of  satisfaction.  And 
there  is  hardly  any  conception  of  the  worthless- 
ness,  and  more  than  that,  of  the  hardening  in- 
fluence of   a   duty  performed   or   of   knowledge 

The  Blessedness  of  the  Doer  53 

acquired,  unless  we  go  out  with  our  whole  heart 
set  upon  Literally  Doing  and  Being  What 
God's  Word  Says  He  Would  Have  Us  and  Can 
Make  Us.  Terrible  delusion!  ^^Be  ye  doers  of 
the  word,  and  not  hearers  only,  deluding  your 
own  selves." 

It  is  in  the  closet,  in  the  morning  watch,  that 
this  delusion  must  be  fought  and  conquered.  We 
may  find  that  it  will  disturb  our  regular  Bible 
reading,  and  make  us  fall  behind  in  our  portions. 
It  need  not  do  this.  But  far  better  it  should, 
than  that  this  point  remain  doubtful  and  un- 
settled. Everything  Depends  on  this.  Our 
Lord  Jesus  said :  "  If  any  man  willeth  to  Do  His 
Will,  he  shall  Know  of  the  Teaching  whether 
it  be  of  God."  It  is  oooly  the  heart  that  delights 
in  God's  law,  and  Has  Set  Its  Will  Determin- 
edly  on  Doing  It^  that  can  receive  the  divine 
illumination,  which  spiritually  knows  the  teach- 
ing of  Christ  in  its  Divine  origin  and  power. 
Without  this  will  to  do,  our  knowledge  will  not 
profit :  it  is  mere  head  knowledge. 

In  life,  in  science  and  art,  in  business,  the  only 
way  of  truly  knowing,  is  doing.  What  a  man  can- 
not do  he  does  not  thoroughly  know.  The  Only 
Way  to  Know  God,  to  Taste  His  Blessed- 
ness^ Is  Through  the  Doing  of  His  Will.  That 
proves  whether  it  is  a  God  of  my  own  sentiment 
and  imagination  that  I  confess,  or  the  true  and 
living  God  who  rules  and  works  all.  It  is  only  in 
doing  His  will  that  I  prove  I  love  it  and  accept 

54  The  Inner  Chamber 

it,  and  make  myself  one  with  it.  And  there  is 
no  possible  way  under  heaven  of  being  united  to 
God  BUT  BY  Being  United  to  His  Will  in  the 
doing  of  it.  It  is  the  quiet  of  the  inner  chamber, 
in  the  spirit  in  which  I  do  my  private  Bible  read- 
ing, in  the  determination  with  which  I  seek  to 
have  this  point  absolutely  and  finally  settled,  I 
Am  Going  to  Do  Whatever  God  Says,  that  the 
awful  self-delusion  of  hearing  and  not  doing  must 
be  conquered. 

It  may  help  us  if  we  take  some  portion  of  God's 
Word  and  see  how  we  are  to  deal  with  it. 

Suppose  it  to  be  the  Sermon  on  the  Mount.  I 
begin  with  the  first  Beatitude:  "Blessed  are  the 
poor  in  spirit."  I  ask — ^What  does  this  mean? 
Am  I  obeying  this  injunction?  Am  I  at  least 
thoroughly  in  earnest  in  seeking  day  by  day  to 
maintain  this  disposition?  As  I  feel  how  far  my 
proud,  self-confident  nature  is  from  it,  am  I 
willing  to  wait,  and  plead  with  Christ,  and  believe 
that  He  can  work  it  in  me?  Am  I  going  to  Do 
This — to  be  poor  in  spirit?  Or  shall  I  again  be 
a  hearer  and  not  a  doer  ? 

And  so  I  may  go  through  the  Beatitudes,  and 
through  the  whole  Sermon,  with  its  teaching  on 
meekness  and  mercy,  on  love  and  righteousness, 
on  doing  everything  as  unto  the  Father,  and  in 
everything  trusting  Him,  on  doing  His  will  and 
Christ's  words,  and  verse  by  verse  ask — Do  I  know 
what  this  means?  Am  I  living  it  out?  Am  I 
doing  it?  Am  I  what  He  speaks?    And  as  ever 

The  Blessedness  of  the  Doer  55 

again,  the  answer  comes — I  fear  not,  nay,  I  see 
no  possibility  of  living  thus,  and  doing  what  He 
says,  I  shall  be  led  to  feel  the  need  of  an  entire 
revision  of  both  my  creed  and  conduct.  And  I 
shall  ask  whether  the  vow,  Whatever  He  Says 
I  Am  Going  to  Do^  has  ever  taken  the  place 
either  in  my  Bible  reading  or  my  life  which  He 
demands  that  it  should  have. 

Ere  I  know,  such  questionings  may  begin  to 
work  in  me  a  poverty  of  spirit  I  never  knew,  and 
lead  me  to  an  entirely  new  insight  into  my  need 
of  a  Christ  who  will  breathe  in  me  His  own  life, 
AND  Work  in  Me  All  He  Speaks.  I  will  get 
courage  in  faith  to  say:  I  Can  Do  all  things  in 
Him  who  strengtheneth  me :  Whatsoever  He  saith 
in  His  word,  I  will  do. 


KEEPING  Christ's  commandments 

"If  ye  know  these  things,  blessed  are  ye  if  ye  do 
them."— John  xiii.  17. 

The  blessedness  and  the  blessing  of  God's  "Word 
is  only  to  be  known  by  Doing  It. 

The  subject  is  of  such  supreme  importance  in 
the  Christian  life,  and  therefore  in  our  Bible 
study,  that  I  must  ask  you  to  return  to  it  once 
more.  And  let  us  this  time  just  take  the  one 
expression,  Keeping  the  Word,  or  keeping  the 

Let  us  take  it  first  in  the  farewell  discourse. 
You  may  be  familiar  with  the  passages,  but  it 
will  be  of  use  to  look  at  them  together. 

"If  ye  love  Me,  Keep  My  Commandments, 
and  the  Father  will  send  you  the  Comforter" 
(John  xiv.  15,  16). 

"  He  that  hath  My  commandments,  and  Keep- 
eth  Them^  he  it  is  that  loveth  Me,  and  he  shall 
be  loved  of  My  Father"  (v.  21). 

"  If  a  man  love  Me,  He  Will  Keep  My  words, 
and  My  Father  will  love  him  "  (v.  23). 

"  If  ye  abide  in  Me  and  My  Words  Abide  in 
You^  ask  whatsoever  ye  will,  and  it  shall  be  done 
unto  you"  (xv.  7). 


Keeping  Christ's  Commandments  57 

"If  Ye  Keep  My  commandments,  ye  shall 
abide  in  My  love''  (xv.  10). 

"  Ye  are  My  friends,  if  Ye  Do  Whatsoever  I 
Command  You"  (v.  10). 

Study  and  compare  these  passages,  until  the 
words  enter  the  heart  and  work  the  deep  convic- 
tion that  Keeping  Christ's  Commandments  Is 
THE  Indispensable  Condition  of  All  True 
Spiritual  Blessing.  For  the  coming  of  God  the 
Holy  Spirit,  and  His  actual  indwelling,  for  the  en- 
joyment of  the  Father's  love,  the  inward  manifesta- 
tion of  Christ,  the  abode  of  the  Father  and  the 
Son  in  the  heart,  the  power  of  prayer,  the  abiding 
in  Christ's  love,  and  the  enjoyment  of  His  friend- 
ship, the  keeping  of  the  commandments  is  the  one 
requisite.  And  for  the  power  to  claim  and  enjoy* 
these  blessings  in  faith  day  by  day,  the  childlike 
consciousness  that  we  do  keep  them  is  indispen- 
sable too.  And  no  less  indispensable  is,  for  fruit- 
ful Bible  study,  the  quiet  assurance  that  dare 
expect  Divine  light  and  strength  with  every  word 
of  God  because  He  knows  that  we  are  ready  to 
obey  to  the  very  utmost.  Through  the  Will  op 
God,  Delighted  in,  and  Done,  Lies  Our  only 
Way  to  the  Heart  of  the  Father,  and  His 
only  Way  to  Our  Heart.  Keep  the  Command- 
ments :  this  is  the  way  to  every  blessing. 

See  how  strikingly  all  this  is  confirmed  by  what 
we  find  in  John's  first  epistle. 

"Hereby  do  we  know  that  we  know  Him,  if 
We  Keep  His  commandments.    He  that  saith,  I 

58  The  Inner  Chamber 

know  Him,  and  Keepeth  not  His  command- 
ments, is  a  liar.  But  Whoso  Keepeth  His  word, 
in  him  verily  is  the  love  of  God  perfected"  (ii. 
3-5).  The  only  proof  of  true,  living,  saving 
knowledge  of  God;  the  only  proof  of  not  being 
self-deceived  in  our  religion;  of  God's  love  not 
being  an  imagination,  but  a  possession,  is,  keeping 
His  word. 

"  If  our  heart  condemn  us  not,  we  have  boldness 
toward  God;  and  whatsoever  we  ask  we  receive, 
Because  We  Keep  His  commandments.  And  He 
That  Keepeth  His  commandments,  abideth  in 
Him"  (iii.  21,  32,  24).  Keeping  the  command- 
ments is  the  secret  of  confidence  toward  God,  and 
true  intimate  fellowship  with  Him. 

"This  is  the  love  of  God  that  We  Keep  His 
commandments,  for  whatsoever  is  begotten  of  God 
overcometh  the  world"  (v.  3,  4).  Our  profession 
of  love  is  worthless,  except  as  it  is  proved  to  be  true 
by  the  keeping  of  His  commandments  in  the 
power  of  a  life  begotten  of  God.  Knowing  God, 
having  the  love  of  God  perfected  in  us,  having 
boldness  with  God,  and  abiding  in  Him,  being 
begotten  of  Him  and  loving  Him — all,  all,  is 
dependent  on  the  one  thing — Keeping  the  Com- 

It  is  only  as  we  realise  the  prominence  Christ 
and  Scripture  give  to  this  truth,  that  we  shall 
learn  to  give  it  the  same  prominence  in  our  life. 
It  will  become  to  us  one  of  the  keys  to  true  Bible 
study.     The  man  who  reads  his  Bible  with  the 

Keeping  Christ's  Commandments  59 

longing  and  determined  purpose  to  Search  out 
AND  TO  Obey  Every  Commandment  of  God  and 
OF  Christ,  is  on  the  right  track  to  receiving  all 
the  blessing  the  Word  was  ever  meant  to  bring. 
He  will  specially  learn  two  things.  How  he  needs 
to  wait  for  the  teaching  of  the  Holy  Spirit  to 
lead  him  into  all  God's  will.  And  what  blessed- 
ness there  is  in  performing  daily  duties,  not  only 
because  they  are  right,  or  he  delights  in  them,  but 
because  they  are  the  will  of  God.  He  will  find 
how  all  daily  life  is  elevated,  when  he  says  as 
Christ  did :  "  This  commandment  received  I  of 
My  Father.'^  The  Word  will  become  the  light 
and  guide  by  which  all  his  steps  are  ordered.  And 
his  life  will  become  the  training  school  in  which 
the  sanctifying  power  of  the  Word  is  proved,  and 
the  mind  ever  prepared  anew  for  its  teaching  and 
encouragement.  And  so  the  keeping  of  the  com- 
mandments will  be  the  key  to  every  spiritual 

Make  a  determined  effort  to  grasp  what  this  life 
of  full  obedience  means.  Take  some  of  Christ's 
clearest  commands : — Love  one  .another  even  as  I 
have  loved  you;  ye  ought  to  wash  one  another's 
feet;  ye  should  do  as  I  have  done  to  you:  and 
accept  a  Christlike  love  and  humility  as  the  law 
of  the  supernatural  life  you  are  to  live. 

So  far  from  the  sense  of  failure  or  impotence 
leading  you  to  despair,  or  to  rest  contented  in 
what  you  think  attainable,  let  it  only  encourage 
you  to  put  your  hope  more  entirely  on  Him,  who 

6o  The  Inner  Chamber 

by  His  Spirit  will  work  in  you  both  to  will  and 
to  do. 

Once  again,  our  one  aim  must  be  perfect  har- 
mony between  conscience  and  conduct.  Every 
conviction  must  be  carried  out  into  action. 
Christ's  commands  were  meant  to  be  obeyed.  If 
this  be  not  done,  the  accumulation  of  Scripture 
knowledge  only  darkens  and  hardens,  and  works 
that  satisfaction  with  the  pleasure  which  the 
acquisition  of  knowledge  brings,  which  unfits  us 
for  the  Spirit's  teaching. 

I  pray  you,  do  not  weary  of  my  repeating  so 
often  the  blessed,  solemn  message.  In  your  inner 
chamber  the  question  is  to  be  decided  whether  you 
will  through  the  day  keep  the  commandments  of 
Christ.  And  there  too  wiU  be  decided  whether 
in  future  life  you  are  to  bear  the  character  of  a 
man  whoUy  given  up  to  know  and  do  the  will  of 



**  And  out  of  the  ground  made  the  Lord  God  to  grow 
the  tree  of  life  in  the  midst  of  the  garden,  and  the  tree 
of  knowledge  of  good  and  evil." — Gen.  ii.  9. 

There  are  two  ways  of  knowing  things.  The 
one  is  in  the  mind  by  notion  or  conception;  I 
know  about  a  thing.  TJie  other  is  in  the  life;  I 
know  by  inward  experience.  A  blind  man,  who 
is  clever,  may  know  all  that  science  teaches  about 
the  light,  by  having  books  read  to  him.  A  child, 
or  a  savage,  who  has  never  thought  what  light 
is,  yet  knows  it  far  better  than  the  blind  scholar. 
The  latters  knows  all  about  it  by  thinking;  the 
former  knows  it  in  reality  by  seeing  and  enjoying 

It  is  even  so  in  religion.  The  mind  can  form 
thoughts  about  God  from  the  Bible,  and  know  all 
the  doctrines  of  salvation,  while  the  inner  lift* 
does  not  know  the  power  of  God  to  save.  This  is 
why  we  read  "He  that  loveth  not,  knoweth  not 
God;  for  God  is  love."  He  may  know  all  about 
God  and  about  love,  he  may  be  able  to  utter 
beautiful  thoughts  about  it;  but  unless  he  loves, 
he  does  not  know  God.  Only  love  can  know  God. 
The  knowledge  of  God  is  life  eternal. 

62  The  Inner  Chamber 

God's  Word  is  the  word  of  life.  Out  of  the 
heart  are  the  issues  of  life.  The  life  may  be  strong, 
even  where  knowledge  in  the  mind  is  feeble.  And 
the  knowledge  may  be  the  object  of  most  diligent 
pursuit  and  of  great  delight,  while  the  life  is  not 
affected  by  it. 

An  illustration  may  make  this  plain.  Suppose 
we  could  give  to  an  apple  tree  understanding,  with 
eyes  to  see  and  hands  to  work,  this  might  enable 
the  apple  tree  to  do  for  itself  what  the  gardener 
now  does,  to  gather  manure  or  bring  moisture. 
But  the  inner  life  of  the  apple  tree  would  still  be 
the  same,  quite  different  from  the  understanding 
that  had  been  added  to  it.  And  so  the  inner 
divine  life  in  a  man  is  something  quite  different 
from  the  intellect  with  which  he  knows  about  it. 
That  intellect  is  indeed  most  needful,  to  offer  to 
the  heart  the  Word  of  God  which  the  Holy  Spirit 
can  quicken.  And  yet  it  is  absolutely  impotent, 
either  to  impart,  or  quicken,  the  true  life.  It 
is  but  a  servant  that  carries  the  food;  it  is  the 
heart  that  must  feed,  and  be  nourished  and  live. 

The  two  trees  in  Paradise  are  God^s  revela- 
tion of  the  same  truth.  If  Adam  had  eaten  of 
the  tree  of  life,  he  would  have  received  and  known 
all  the  good  God  had  for  him  in  living  power  as 
an  experience.  And  he  would  have  known  evil 
only  by  being  absolutely  free  from  it.  But  Eve 
was  led  astray  by  the  desire  for  knowledge — 
"the  fruit  was  to  be  desired  to  make  one  wise,'' 
and  man  got  a  knowledge  of  good  without  pos- 

Life  and  Knowledge  63 

sessing  it,  a  knowledge  of  it,  only  from  the  evil 
that  was  its  opposite.  And  since  that  day  man 
has  ever  sought  his  religion  more  in  knowledge 
than  in  life. 

It  Is  only  Life,  Experience,  Possession,  op 
God  and  His  Goodness  That  Gives  True 
Knowledge.  The  knowledge  of  the  intellect  can- 
not quicken.  "  Though  I  understand  all  mysteries 
and  all  knowledge,  and  have  not  love,  I  am  noth- 
ing.^^  It  is  in  our  daily  Bible  reading  that  this 
danger  meets  us;  it  is  there  it  must  be  met  and 
conquered.  We  need  the  intellect  to  hear  and 
understand  God's  Word  in  its  human  meaning. 
But  we  need  to  know  that  the  possession  of  the 
truth  by  the  intellect  cannot  profit  but  as  the  Holy 
Spirit  makes  it  life  and  truth  in  the  heart.  We 
need  to  yield  our  heart,  and  wait  on  God  in  quiet 
submission  and  faith  to  work  in  us  by  that  Spirit. 
1A.S  this  becomes  a  holy  habit,  we  shall  learn  the 
art  of  intellect  and  heart  working  in  perfect  har- 
mony, and  each  movement  of  the  mind  being 
ever  accompanied  by  the  corresponding  movement 
of  the  heart,  waiting  on  and  listening  for  the 
teaching  of  the  Spirit. 



"Trust  in  the  Lord  with  all  thine  heart,  and  lean 
not  unto  thine  own  understanding." — Pbov.  iii.  5. 

The  chief  object  of  the  Book  of  Proverbs  is  to 
teach  knowledge  and  discretion,  and  to  guide  in 
the  path  of  wisdom  and  understanding.  To  under- 
stand righteousness,  to  understand  the  fear  of  the 
Lord,  to  find  good  understanding,  it  is  to  this  the 
Proverbs  offer  to  guide  us.  But  it  gives  the 
warning  in  the  pursuit  of  this,  to  distinguish  be- 
tween trusting  to  our  own  understanding,  and 
intellect,  and  seeking  spiritual  understanding, 
that  which  God  gives,  even  an  understanding  heart. 
"  Trust  in  the  Lord  with  all  thine  heart,  and  lean 
not  to  thine  own  understanding."  In  all  our 
seeking  after  knowledge  and  wisdom,  in  all  our 
planning  our  life,  or  studying  the  "Word,  we  have 
these  two  powers — ^the  understanding  or  intellect, 
which  knows  things  from  without,  by  nature  and 
the  conceptions  we  form,  and  the  heart,  which 
knows  them  by  experience  as  it  takes  them  up  into 
the  will  and  affection. 

I  am  deeply  persuaded  that  one  of  the  chief 
reasons  why  so  much  Bible  teaching  and  Bible 

The  Heart  and  the  Understanding        65 

knowledge  is  comparatively  fruitless,  one  of  the 
chief  causes  of  the  lack  of  holiness,  and  devotion, 
and  power  in  the  Church,  is  to  be  found  here — 
the  trusting  to  our  own  understanding  in  religion. 
I  beseech  my  readers  to  give  me  a  patient  hear- 
ing here. 

Many  argue :  But  surely  God  gave  us  our  intel- 
lect, and  without  it  there  is  no  possibility  of 
knowing  God's  "Word.  Most  true ;  but  listen.  By 
the  fall  our  whole  human  nature  was  disordered. 
The  will  became  enslaved,  the  affections  were 
perverted,  the  understanding  was  darkened.  All 
admit  the  ruin  of  the  fall  in  the  two  former, 
but  practically  deny  it  in  the  latter.  They  admit 
that  even  the  believer  has  not  in  himself  the  power 
of  a  holy  will,  and  needs  the  daily  renewing  of 
the  grace  of  Jesus  Christ.  They  admit  that  he 
has  not  the  power  of  holy  affection,  loving  God 
and  his  neighbour,  except  as  it  is  wrought  in  him 
unceasingly  by  the  Holy  Spirit.  But  they  do  not 
notice  that  the  intellect  is  just  as  much  spiritually 
ruined  and  impotent,  and  incapable  of  appre- 
hending spiritual  truth.  It  was  especially  the 
desire  for  knowledge,  in  a  way  and  at  a  time  God 
had  forbidden  it,  that  led  Eve  astray,  as  the  out- 
come of  the  temptation.  To  think  that  we  can 
take  the  knowledge  of  God's  truth  for  ourselves 
out  of  His  word  as  we  will,  is  still  our  greatest 
danger.  We  need  a  deep  conviction  of  the  impo- 
tence of  our  understanding  really  to  know  the 
truth,  and  of  the  terrible  danger  of  self-confidence 

66  The  Inner  Chamber 

and  self-deception  in  doing  so,  to  see  the  need 
of  the  word,  "Trust  in  the  Lord  with  all  thine 
heart,  and  lean  not  to  thine  understanding."  It 
is  with  the  heart  man  believeth.  It  is  with  all 
the  heart  we  are  to  seek,  and  serve,  and  love 
God.  It  is  only  with  the  heart  we  can  know 
God,  or  worship  God,  in  spirit  and  truth.  It  is 
in  the  heart,  therefore,  that  the  Divine  Word  does 
the  work.  It  is  into  our  heart  God  hath  sent 
forth  the  Spirit  of  His  Son.  It  is  the  heart,  the 
inward  life  of  desire  and  love  and  will  and  sur- 
render, that  the  Holy  Spirit  guides  into  all  the 

In  Bible  study,  "Trust  in  the  Lord  with 
all  thine  heart,  and  lean  not  to  thine  own  under- 

Trust  not,  wholly  distrust,  thy  own  understand- 
ing. It  can  only  give  thee  thoughts  and  concep- 
tions of  Divine  things  without  the  reality.  It  will 
deceive  thee  with  the  thought  that  the  truth,  if 
received  into  the  mind,  will  somehow  surely  enter 
the  heart.  And  so  it  will  blind  thee  to  the  terri- 
ble experience  which  is  universal,  that  men  daily 
read,  and  every  Sunday  delight  to  hear  God's 
Word,  and  yet  are  made  neither  humble,  nor  holy, 
nor  heavenly  minded  by  it. 

Instead  of  trusting  the  understanding,  come 
with  the  heart  to  the  Bible.  Instead  of  trust- 
ing the  understanding,  trust  in  the  Lord,  and 
that  with  all  thy  heart.  Let  not  the  understand- 
ing, but  the  whole  heart  set  upon  the  living  God 

The  Heart  and  the  Understanding        6j 

as  the  Teacher,  be  the  chief  thing,  when  thou 
enterest  thy  closet.  Then  shalt  thou  find  good 
understanding.  God  will  give  thee  an  understand- 
ing heart,  a  spiritual  understanding. 

You  may  ask  me,  as  I  have  been  often  asked, 
"  But  what  am  I  to  do  ?  How  am  I  to  study  my 
Bible?  I  see  no  way  of  doing  so,  but  by  using 
the  understanding." 

Perfectly  right.  But  do  not  use  it  for  what  it 
cannot  do.  Eemember  two  things.  One  is,  that 
it  can  only  give  you  a  picture  or  thought  of 
spiritual  things.  The  moment  it  has  done  this, 
go  with  your  heart  to  the  Lord  to  make  His 
Word  life  and  truth  in  you.  The  other  is,  remem- 
ber that  pride  of  intellect,  the  danger  of  leaning 
to  your  own  understanding  is  unceasing,  and  that 
nothing,  not  even  the  most  determined  purpose, 
can  save  you  from  this,  but  only  the  continual 
dependence  of  the  heart  on  the  Holy  Spirif  s 
teaching.  It  is  alone  through  the  Holy  Spirit 
quickening  the  Word  in  the  heart,  in  the  dispo- 
sition and  affections,  that  He  can  guide  the  intel- 
lect. ^^  The  meek  will  He  guide  in  judgment ; 
the  meek  will  He  shew  his  way."  "  The  fear  of 
the  Lord," — a  disposition — "is  the  beginning  of 
wisdom."    ■ 

With  every  thought  from  the  Word  the  under- 
standing grasps,  bow  before  God  in  dependence 
and  trust.  Believe  with  the  whole  heart  that  God 
can  and  will  make  it  true.  Ask  for  the  Holy 
Spirit    to    make    it    work    effectually     in     the 

68  The  Inner  Chamber 

heart.     So  the  Word  becomes  the  strength  of  our 

Persevere  in  this,  and  the  time  will  come  when 
the  Holy  Spirit,  dwelling  in  the  heart  and  life, 
will  hold  the  understanding  in  subjection,  and  let 
His  holy  light  shine  through  it. 


god's  thoughts  and  our  thoughts 

«  As  the  heavens  are  higher  than  the  earth,  so  are 
my  thoughts  higher  than  your  thoughts."— Is.  Iv.  9. 

On  earth  the  words  of  a  wise  man  often  mean 
something  different  from  what  a  hearer  under- 
stands of  them.  How  natural  then  that  the  words 
of  God,  as  He  understands  them,  mean  something 
infinitely  higher  than  we  at  once  appre*hend. 

There  is  very  great  need  for  remembering  this. 
Doing  so  will  lead  us  continually  from  resting 
content  with  our  knowledge  and  thoughts  of  the 
Word,  to  wonder  and  wait  what  may  be  its  full 
blessing  as  God  has  meant  it.  It  will  give  our 
prayer  for  the  Holy  Spirit's  teaching  new  point 
and  urgency,  even  to  show  us  what  has  not  yet 
entered  into  our  heart  to  conceive.  It  will  give 
confidence  to  the  hope  that  there  is  for  us,  even  in 
this  life,  a  fulfilment  beyond  our  highest  thoughts. 

God's  Word  thus  has  two  meanings.  The  one 
is  that  which  it  has  in  the  mind  of  God,  making 
the  human  words  actually  the  bearer  of  all  the 
glory  of  Divine  wisdom,  and  power,  and  love. 
The  other  is  our  feeble,  partial,  defective  appre- 
hension of  it.  Even  after  grace  and  experience  have 
made  such  words  as  the  love  of  God,  the  grace 

'JO  The  Inner  Chamber 

of  God,  the  power  of  God,  or  any  one  of  the  many 
promises  connected  with  these  verities,  very  true 
and  real  to  us,  there  is  still  an  infinite  fulness  in 
the  Word  we  have  not  yet  known. 

How  strikingly  this  is  put  in  our  text  from 
Isaiah.  "As  the  heavens  are  higher  than  the 
earth."  Our  faith  in  the  fact  is  so  simple  and 
clear  that  no  one  would  dream  of  trying  with  his 
little  arm  to  reach  the  sun  or  the  stars.  To  climb 
the  highest  mountain  would  not  avail.  We  do 
with  our  whole  heart  believe  it.  And  now  God 
says,  even  so,  "  my  thoughts  are  higher  than  your 
thoughts.^'  Even  when  the  Word  has  spoken  out 
God's  thoughts,  and  our  thoughts  have  sought  to 
take  them  in,  they  still  remain,  as  high  above  our 
thoughts  as  the  heavens  are  higher  than  the  earth. 
All  the  infinities  of  God  and  the  eternal  world 
dwell  in  the  Word  as  the  seed  of  eternal  life.  And 
as  the  full-grown  oak  is  so  mysteriously  greater 
than  the  acorn  from  which  it  sprang,  so  God's 
words  are  but  seeds  from  which  God's  mighty 
wonders  of  grace  and  power  can  grow  up. 

Faith  in  this  Word  should  teach  us  two  lessons, 
the  one  of  ignorance,  the  other  of  expectation. 
We  should  learn  to  come  to  the  Word  as  little 
children.  Jesus  said,  "  Thou  hast  hid  these  things 
from  the  wise  and  prudent,  and  hast  revealed 
them  unto  babes."  The  prudent  and  the  wise  are 
not  necessarily  hypocrites  or  enemies.  There  are 
many  of  God's  own  dear  children,  who,  by  neglect- 
ing to  cultivate  continually  a  childlike  spirit,  and 

God's  Thoughts  and  Our  Thoughts       71 

unconsciously  resting  on  the  scripturalness  of 
their  creed,  or  the  honesty  of  their  Scripture 
study,  have  spiritual  truth  hidden  from  them, 
and  never  become  spiritual  men.  "Who  among 
men  knoweth  the  things  of  a  man,  save  the  spirit 
of  the  man,  which  is  in  him  ?  Even  so  the  things 
of  God  none  knoweth,  save  the  Spirit  of  God. 
But  we  received  the  Spirit  of  God,  that  we  might 
know ! "  Let  a  deep  sense  of  our  ignorance,  a 
deep  distrust  of  our  own  power  of  understanding 
the  things  of  God  even,  mark  our  Bible  study. 

Then,  the  deeper  our  despair  of  entering  aright 
into  the  thoughts  of  God,  the  greater  the  con- 
fidence of  expectancy  may  be.  God  wants  to 
make  His  Word  true  in  us.  "  Thy  children  shall 
be  taught  of  God.^'  The  Holy  Spirit  is  already 
in  us  to  reveal  the  things  of  God.  In  answer  to 
our  humble  believing  prayer  God  will,  through 
Him,  give  an  evergrowing  insight  into  the  mystery 
of  God — our  wonderful  union  and  likeness  to 
Christ,  His  living  in  us,  and  our  being  as  He  was 
in  this  world. 

Yea  more — if  our  hearts  thirst  and  wait  for  it, 
a  time  may  come  when,  by  a  special  communica- 
tion of  His  Spirit,  all  our  yearnings  are  satisfied 
and  Christ  so  takes  possession  of  the  heart,  that, 
what  was  long  a  faith  becomes  an  experience,  that 
as  the  heavens  are  higher  than  the  earth  His 
thoughts  are  higher  than  our  thoughts. 



"  Blessed  is  the  man  whose  delight  is  in  the  law  of 
the  Lord,  and  in  His  law  doth  he  meditate  day  and 
night"— Ps.  i.  1,  2.  (Josh.  i.  8.  Ps.  cxix.  15,  23,  48, 
78,  97,  99  and  148.  1  Tim.  v.  15.)  "  Let  the  words  of 
my  mouth  and  the  meditation  of  my  heart  be  accept- 
able in  Thy  sight,  O  Lord."— Ps.  xix.  14  and  xlix.  3. 

The  true  aim  of  education,  study,  reading,  is  to 
be  found,  not  in  what  is  brought  into  us,  but  in 
what  is  brought  out  of  ourselves,  by  the  awakening 
into  active  exercise  of  our  inward  power.  This  is 
as  true  of  the  study  of  the  Bible,  as  of  any  other 
study.  God's  Word  only  works  its  true  blessing 
when  the  truth  it  brings  to  us  has  stirred  the  in- 
ner life,  and  reproduced  itself  in  resolve,  trust, 
love,  or  adoration.  When  the  heart  has  received 
the  Word  through  the  mind,  and  has  had  its 
spiritual  powers  called  out  and  exercised  on  it, 
the  Word  is  no  longer  void,  but  has  done  that 
whereunto  God  has  sent  it.  It  has  become  part 
of  our  life,  and  strengthened  us  for  new  purpose 
and  effort. 

It  is  in  meditation  that  the  heart  holds  and  ap- 
propriates the  Word.  Just  as  in  reflection  the 
understanding  grasps  all  the  meaning  and  bearings 
of  a  truth,  so  in  meditation  the  heart,  assimilates 


Meditation  73 

it  and  makes  it  a  part  of  its  own  life.  We  need 
continual  reminding  that  the  heart  means  the  will 
and  the  affection.  The  meditation  of  the  heart 
implies  desire,  acceptance,  surrender,  love.  Out 
of  the  heart  are  the  issues  of  life ;  what  the  heart 
truly  believes,  that  it  receives  with  love  and  joy, 
and  allows  to  master  and  rule  the  life.  The  intel- 
lect gathers  and  prepares  the  food  on  which  we  are 
to  feed.  In  meditation  the  heart  takes  it  in  and 
feeds  on  it. 

The  art  of  meditation  needs  to  be  cultivated. 
Just  as  a  man  needs  to  be  trained  to  concentrate 
his  mental  powers  so  as  to  think  clearly  and  accu- 
rately, a  Christian  needs  to  carefully  consider  and 
meditate,  until  the  holy  habit  has  been  formed  of 
yielding  up  the  whole  heart  to  every  word  of 

The  question  sometimes  is  asked,  how  this 
power  of  meditation  can  be  cultivated.  The  very 
first  thing  is  to  present  ourselves  before  God.  It 
is  His  Word;  that  Word  has  no  power  of  blessing 
apart  from  Him.  It  is  into  His  presence  and  fel- 
lowship the  Word  is  meant  to  bring  us.  Practise 
His  presence,  and  take  the  Word  as  from  Him- 
self in  the  assurance  that  He  will  make  it  work 
effectually  in  the  heart.  In  Psalm  cxix.  you  have 
the  word  seven  times,  but  each  time  as  part  of  a 
prayer  addressed  to  God.  ^^I  will  meditate  in 
Thy  precepts.'^  "  Thy  servant  did  meditate  in 
Thy  statutes."  "  0  how  I  love  Thy  law,  it  is  my 
meditation  all  the  day."    Meditation  is  the  heart 

74  The  Inner  Chamber 

turning  towards  God  with  His  own  Word,  seeking 
to  take  it  up  into  the  affection  and  will,  into  its 
very  life. 

Another  element  of  true  meditation  is  quiet 
restfulness.  In  our  study  of  Scripture,  in  our  en- 
deavour to  grasp  an  argument,  or  to  master  a 
difficulty,  our  intellect  often  needs  to  put  forth 
its  utmost  efforts.  The  habit  of  soul  required  in 
meditation  is  different.  Here  we  turn  with  some 
truth  we  have  found,  or  some  mystery  in  which 
we  are  waiting  for  divine  teaching,  to  hide  the 
word  we  are  engaged  with  in  the  depth  of  the 
heart,  and  to  believe  that,  by  the  Holy  Spirit,  its 
meaning  and  power  will  be  revealed  in  our  inner 
life.  "  Thou  desirest  truth  in  the  inward  parts ; 
and  in  the  hidden  part  thou  shalt  make  me  to 
know  wisdom."  In  the  description  of  our  Lord's 
mother  we  are  told :  "  Mary  kept  all  these  things 
and  pondered  them  in  her  heart.''  In  His  mother 
keeping  all  these  sayings  in  her  heart,  we  have 
the  image  of  a  soul  that  has  begun  to  know  Christ, 
and  is  on  the  sure  way  to  know  Him  better. 

It  is  hardly  necessary  to  say  further  that  in 
meditation  the  personal  application  takes  a  promi- 
nent place.  This  is  all  too  little  the  case  with  our 
intellectual  study  of  the  Bible.  Its  object  is  to 
know  and  understand.  In  meditation  the  chief 
object  is  to  appropriate  and  experience.  A  readi- 
ness to  believe  every  promise  implicitly,  to  obey 
every  command  unhesitatingly,  to  "stand  per- 
fect and  complete  in  all  the  will  of  God,"  is  the 

Meditation  75 

only  true  spirit  of  Bible  study.  It  is  in  quiet 
meditation  that  this  faith  is  exercised,  that  this 
allegiance  is  rendered,  that  the  full  surrender  to 
all  God^s  will  is  made,  and  the  assurance  received 
of  grace  to  perform  our  vows. 

And  then  meditation  must  lead  to  prayer.  It 
provides  matter  for  prayer.  It  must  lead  on  to 
prayer,  to  ask  and  receive  definitely  what  it  has 
seen  in  the  Word  or  accepted  in  the  Word.  Its 
value  is  that  it  is  the  preparation  for  prayer,  delib- 
erate and  whole-hearted  supplication  for  what  the 
heart  has  felt  that  the  Word  has  revealed  as  need- 
ful or  possible.  That  means  the  rest  of  faith, 
that  looks  upward  in  the  assurance  that  the  Word 
will  open  up  and  prove  its  power,  in  the  soul  that 
meekly  and  patiently  gives  itself  away  to  it. 

The  reward  of  resting  for  a  time  from  intel- 
lectual effort,  and  cultivating  the  habit  of  holy 
meditation,  will  be  that  in  course  of  time  the  two 
will  be  brought  into  harmony,  and  all  our  study 
be  animated  by  the  spirit  of  a  quiet  waiting  on 
God,  and  a  yielding  up  of  the  heart  and  life  to  the 

Our  fellowship  with  God  is  meant  for  all  the 
day.  The  blessing  of  securing  a  habit  of  true 
meditation  in  the  morning  watch  will  be,  that  we 
shall  be  brought  nearer  the  blessedness  of  the  man 
of  the  first  Psalm;  "Blessed  is  the  man  whose 
delight  is  in  the  law  of  the  Lord,  and  in  His  law 
doth  he  meditate  day  and  night." 

Let  all  workers  and  leaders  of  God's  people 

^6  The  Inner  Chamber 

remember  that  they  need  this  more  than  others, 
if  they  are  to  train  them  to  it,  and  to  keep  up  their 
own  communication  unbroken  with  the  only 
source  of  strength  and  blessing.  God  says,  "  I 
will  be  with  thee ;  I  will  not  fail  nor  forsake  thee. 
Only  be  thou  strong  and  very  courageous  that 
thou  mayest  observe  to  do  according  to  all  the 
law  .  .  .  that  thou  mayest  prosper  whither- 
soever thou  goest.  This  book  of  the  law  shall 
not  depart  out  of  thy  mouth ;  Thou  Shalt  Medi- 
tate Therein  Day  and  Night  .  .  .  Then 
thou  shalt  have  good  success.  ...  Be  strong 
and  of  a  good  courage.'^ 

"Let  the  words  of  my  mouth  and  the  medita- 
tion of  my  heart,  be  acceptable  in  Thy  Sight,  0 
Lord  my  Strength  and  my  Redeemer.^^  Let  noth- 
ing less  be  your  aim — ^that  your  meditation  may  be 
acceptable  in  His  sight — ^part  of  the  spiritual 
sacrifice  you  offer.  Let  nothing  less  be  your 
prayer  and  expectation,  that  your  meditation  may 
be  true  worship,  the  living  surrender  of  the  heart 
to  God's  Word  in  His  presence. 



"  I  thank  Thee,  Father,  Lord  of  heaven  and  earth, 
that  Thou  hast  hid  these  things  from  the  wise  and 
prudent,  and  revealed  them  unto  babes." — Matt.  xi.  25 ; 
Luke  x.  21. 

The  wise  and  prudent  are  the  men  who  are  con- 
scious and  confident  of  their  power  of  mind  and 
reason  to  aid  them  in  their  pursuit  of  Divine 
Knowledge.  The  babes  are  those  whose  chief 
work  is  not  the  mind  and  its  power,  but  the  heart 
and  its  disposition.  Ignorance,  helplessness,  de- 
pendence, meekness,  teachableness,  trust  and  love 
— these  are  the  tempers  God  seeks  in  those  whom 
He  teaches.     (Ps.  xxv.  9,  12,  14,  17,  20.) 

One  of  the  most  important  parts  of  our  devo- 
tions is  the  study  of  God's  Word.  Of  what  deep 
importance  that  we  should  ever  receive  the  Word 
in  the  Spirit  that  waits  for  the  Father  to  reveal  its 
truth  in  us.  And  of  what  importance  that  we 
should  have  the  child-like,  yea  the  babe-like  dispo- 
sition to  which  the  Father  loves  to  impart  the 
secrets  of  His  love.  With  the  wise  and  prudent 
head-knowledge  is  the  first  thing ;  from  them  God 
hides  the  spiritual  meaning  of  the  Very  Thing 
They  Think  They  Understand.  With  the 

78  The  Inner  Chamber 

babes,  not  the  head  and  its  knowledge  but  the 
heart  and  Feeling,  the  sense  of  humility,  love 
and  trust,  is  the  first  thing,  and  to  them  God 
reveals,  in  their  inner  life  and  experience,  the 
Very  Thing  They  Kjnow  They  Cannot  Un- 

Education  tells  us  that  there  are  two  styles  of 
teaching.  The  ordinary  teacher  makes  the  com- 
munication of  knowledge  his  chief  object,  and 
cultivates  the  powers  of  the  child  as  far  as  they 
help  him  to  attain  his  object.  The  true  teacher 
considers  the  amount  of  knowledge  a  secondary 
thing.  His  first  aim  is  to  develop  the  power  of 
mind  and  spirit,  and  to  aid  the  pupil,  both  men- 
tally and  morally,  in  using  his  powers  aright  in 
the  pursuit  and  the  application  of  knowledge. 
Even  so  there  are  two  classes  of  preachers.  Some 
pour  forth  instruction  and  argument  and  appeal 
unceasingh^,  leaving  it  to  the  hearers  to  make 
the  best  use  they  can  of  what  is  brought  them. 
The  true  preacher  knows  how  much. depends  upon 
the  state  of  heart,  and  seeks,  even  as  our  Lord 
Jesus  did,  to  subordinate  the  teaching  of  objec- 
tive truth  or  doctrine  to  the  cultivation  of  those 
dispositions  without  which  teaching  profits  little. 
A  hundred  sermons,  eloquent  and  earnest,  to  the 
wise  and  prudent,  to  Christians  who  listen  with 
the  thought  that  they  can  understand,  and  that 
what  they  hear  will  somehow  profit  them,  will 
bring  less  real  blessing,  than  one  sermon  to  hearers 
in  whom  the  preacher  has  awakened  a  conscious- 

Revealed  Unto  Babes  79 

ness  of  spiritual  ignorance,  a  babe-like  docile 
spirit  that  waits  for  and  depends  on,  that  truly 
accepts  and  obeys,  the  Father's  teaching. 

In  the  secret  chamber  every  man  is,  as  far  as 
human  aid  is  concerned,  his  own  teacher  and 
preacher.  He  is  to  train  himself  in  the  blessed 
habit  of  babe-like  simplicity  and  teachableness. 
Eemembering  that  it  was  not  only  needful  that 
Divine  Truth  should  be  revealed  in  the  world,  but 
that  there  must  be  an  individual  revelation  to 
each,  by  the  Holy  Spirit,  his  first  care  is  to  wait 
on  the  Father  to  reveal  to  him,  and  within  him, 
the  hidden  mystery  in  its  power  in  the  inner  life. 
In  this  posture  he  exercises  the  babe-like  spirit, 
and  receives  the  Kingdom  as  a  little  child.  All 
Evangelical  Christians  believe  in  regeneration. 
How  few  believe  that  when  a  man  is  born  of  God, 
A  Babe-like  Dependence  on  God  for  All 
Teaching  and  Strength  Ought  to  Be  His 
Chief  Characteristic.  It  was  the  one  thing 
our  Lord  Jesus  insisted  on  above  all.  When  He 
pronounced  the  poor  in  heart,  the  meek,  the 
hungry,,  "blessed,''  when  He  called  men  to  learn 
of  Him  that  He  was  meek  and  lowly  in  heart, 
when  He  spoke  so  often  of  our  humbling  ourselves 
and  becoming  as  little  children,  it  was  because  the 
first  and  chief  mark  of  being  a  child  of  God,  of 
being  like  Jesus  Christ,  is  an  Absolute  Depend- 
ence UPON  God  for  Every  Blessing^  and 
Specially  for  Any  Eeal  EInowledge  of  Spirit- 
ual Things.    Let  each  ask  himself:    Have  I 

8o  The  Inner  Chamber 

counted  the  babe-like  spirit  the  first  essential  in 
my  Bible  study?  Of  what  use  is  Bible  study 
without  the  babe-like  spirit?  It  is  the  real  and 
only  key  to  God's  school.  Would  it  not  be  well  to 
set  aside  everything  to  secure  this?  Then  alone 
will  God  reveal  His  hidden  wisdom. 

The  new  birth,  being  begotten  of  God,  by  which 
we  become  God's  children,  is  meant  to  make  us 
babes.  It  will  give  us  the  child-spirit  as  well  as 
the  child-teaching.  It  cannot  do  the  second  with- 
out the  first.  Let  us  believe  and  yield  ourselves 
to  the  new  life  in  us,  to  the  leading  of  the  Spirit ; 
He  will  breathe  in  us  the  spirit  of  little  children. 
The  first  object  of  Bible  study  is  to  learn  the  hid- 
den wisdom  of  God.  The  first  condition  of  obtain- 
ing this  knowledge,  is  to  accept  the  fact  that  God 
Himself   reveals   it  to   us. 

The  first  disposition  needed  for  receiving  that 
revelation  is  a  babe-like  spirit.  "We  all  know  how 
the  first  thing  a  wise  workman  does  is  to  see  that 
he  has  the  proper  tools,  and  that  they  are  in  proper 
order.  He  does  not  count  it  lost  time  to  stop  his 
work  and  sharpen  the  tools.  It  is  not  lost  time 
to  let  the  Bible  study  wait,  till  you  see  whether 
you  are  in  the  right  position — waiting  for  the 
Father's  revelation  in  the  meek  and  babe-like 
spirit.  If  you  feel  that  you  have  not  read  your 
Bible  in  this  spirit,  confess  and  forsake  at  once 
the  self-confident  spirit  of  the  wise  and  prudent. 
INTot  only  pray  for  the  babe-like  spirit,  but  believe 
for  it.     It  is  in  you,  though  neglected  and  sup- 

Revealed  Unto  Babes  8i 

pressed;  you  may  begin  at  once  as  a  child  of 
God  to  experience  it. 

Seek  not  by  reflection  or  argument  to  bring 
this  babe-like  spirit  into  your  heart.  "Work  from 
within  outwards.  It  is  in  you,  as  a  seed,  in  the 
new  life,  born  of  the  Spirit.  It  must  rise  and  grow 
in  you  as  a  birth  of  the  indwelling  Spirit.  In 
this  faith  you  must  not  only  pray,  but  pray  also 
very  specially  for  this  grace  of  the  Spirit,  and 
exercise  it.  Live  as  a  babe  before  God.  As  a 
new-born  babe  desire  the  milk  of  the  Word. 

And  beware  of  trying  to  assume  this  state  of 
mind  only  when  you  want  to  study  Scripture.  It 
must  be  the  permanent  habit  of  your  mind,  the 
state  of  your  heart.  Then  alone  can  you  enjoy 
the  continual  guidance  of  the  Holy  Spirit. 



"Take  My  yoke  upon  you  and  learn  of  Me:  for  I 
am  meek  and  lowly  of  heart ;  and  ye  shall  find  rest  to 
your  souls." — Matt.  xi.  29. 

All  Bible  study  is  learning.  All  Bible  study  to  be 
fruitful  should  be  learning  of  Christ.  The  Bible 
is  the  school  book,  Christ  is  the  Teacher.  It  is  He 
who  opens  the  understanding,  and  opens  the  heart, 
and  opens  the  seals.  (Luke  xxiv.  45,  Acts  xvi. 
14,  Eev.  V.  9.)  Christ  is  the  living  eternal  Word, 
of  which  the  written  words  are  the  human  expres- 
sion. Christ's  presence  and  teaching  are  the 
secret  of  all  true  Bible  study.  The  written  Word 
is  powerless,  except  as  it  helps  us  to  the  Living 
Word.  No  one  has  ever  thought  of  accusing  our 
Lord  of  not  honouring  the  Old  Testament.  In 
His  own  life  He  proved  that  He  loved  it  as  coming 
out  of  the  mouth  of  God.  He  ever  pointed  the 
Jews  to  it  as  the  revelation  of  God  and  the  witness 
to  Himself.  But  with  the  disciples  it  is  remark- 
able how  frequently  He  spoke  of  His  own  teach- 
ing as  what  they  most  needed,  and  had  to  obey. 
It  was  only  after  His  resurrection,  when  the  union 
with  Himself  had  been  effected,  and  they  had 


Learning  of  Christ  83 

already  received  the  first  breathings  of  the  Spirit 
(Jno.  XX.  22)  that  we  find  Him  expounding  the 
Scriptures.  The  Jews  had  their  self-made  inter- 
pretation of  the  Word:  they  made  it  the  greatest 
barrier  between  themselves  and  Him  of  whom  it 
spake.  It  is  often  so  with  Christians  too;  our 
human  apprehension  of  Scripture,  fortified  as  it 
may  be  by  the  authority  of  the  Church,  or  our 
own  circle,  becomes  the  greatest  hindrance  in  the 
way  of  Christ's  teachings.  Christ  the  Living 
"Word,  seeks  first  to  find  His  place  in  our  heart  and 
life,  to  be  our  only  Teacher:  thus  shall  we  learn 
of  Him  to  honour  and  understand  Scripture. 

Learn  of  Me  for  I  Am  Meek  and  Lowly  of 
Heart.  Our  Lord  here  opens  up  the  inmost  secret 
of  His  own  inner  life.  That  which  He  brought 
down  to  us  from  heaven :  that  which  fits  Him  to  be 
a  Teacher  and  a  Saviour ;  that  which  He  has  given 
to  us,  and  which  He  wants  us  to  learn  of  Him: 
you  find  it  all  in  the  words,  "  I  am  meek  and  lowly 
of  heart.''  It  is  the  one  virtue  that  makes  Him 
the  Lamb  of  God,  our  suffering  Redeemer,  our 
heavenly  Teacher  and  Leader.  It  is  the  one  dis- 
position which  He  asks  of  us  in  coming  to  learn 
from  Him:  out  of  this  all  else  will  come.  For 
our  Bible  study  and  all  our  Christian  life  you 
have  here  the  one  condition  of  truly  learning  of 
Christ.  He,  the  Teacher,  meek  and  lowly  of  heart, 
wants  to  make  you  what  He  is,  because  that  is 
salvation.  As  a  learner  you  must  come  and  study 
and  believe  in  Him  the  meek  and  lowly  One,  and 

84  The  Inner  Chamber 

seek  to  learn  of  Him  how  to  he  meek  and  lowly 

And  why  is  this  the  first  and  all-important 
thing?  Because  it  lies  at  the  root  of  the  true 
relationship  of  the  creature  to  God.  God  alone 
has  life  and  goodness  and  happiness.  As  the 
God  of  Love  He  delights  to  give  and  work  every- 
thing in  us.  Christ  became  the  Son  of  Man  to 
show  in  what  blessed  unceasing  dependence  upon 
God  man  is  to  live:  this  is  the  meaning  of  His 
being  lowly  in  heart.  It  is  in  this  spirit  that 
angels  veil  their  faces  and  cast  their  crowns  before 
God.  God  is  everything  to  them,  and  they  delight 
to  receive  all  and  to  give  all.  This  is  the  root  of 
the  true  Christian  life:  to  be  nothing  before  God 
and  men;  to  wait  on  God  alone;  to  delight  in, 
to  imitate,  to  learn  of  Christ,  the  Meek  and  Lowly 
One.  This  is  the  very  key  to  the  School  of  Christ, 
the  only  key  to  the  true  knowledge  of  Scripture. 
It  is  in  this  character  that  Christ  has  come  to 
teach:  it  is  in  this  character  alone  you  can  learn 
of  Him.  How  little  in  the  Christian  Church, 
humility,  the  meek  and  lowly  heart,  has  had  the 
place  that  it  has  in  the  life  of  Christ  and  the 
teachings  of  God's  "Word.  I  am  deeply  persuaded 
that  this  lack  lies  at  the  root  of  a  very  large  part 
of  the  feebleness  and  unfruitfulness  of  which 
we  hear.  It  is  only  as  we  are  meek  and  lowly 
in  heart,  that  Christ  can  teach  us  by  His  Spirit 
what  God  has  for  us,  and  that  God  wiU  work  in 
us.    Let  each  of  us  begin  with  ourselves  and  count 

Learning  of  Christ  85 

this  as  the  first  condition  of  discipleship,  and  the 
fir&t  lesson  the  Master  will  most  surely  teach  ns. 
Let  us  make  all  our  Bible  study  a  learning  of 
Christ,  a  trusting  Him,  who  is  so  meek  and  gentle 
and  kind,  a  waiting  for  Him,  to  work  His  own 
spirit  and  likeness  in  us.  In  due  time  our  morn- 
ing watch  will  be  the  scene  of  daily  fellowship 
and  daily  blessing. 

I  know  what  difficulties  I  have  to  contend  with 
in  pleading  thus  that  the  meek  and  lowly  heart 
be  made  the  first  consideration  in  Bible  study. 
It  is  hard  to  make  men  realise  that,  in  intercourse 
with  God,  disposition  and  character  are  every- 
thing.    It  is  harder  to  show  them  that  of  all 
Christian  disposition  and  character,  a  meek  and 
lowly  heart  is  the  very  seed  and  root.    It  is  hard 
to  convince  them  that  without  it  the  profit  of 
Bible  study  is  very  little.     It  is  above  all  hard  to 
lead  them  to  understand  and  believe  that  the  meek 
and  lowly  heart  is  to  be  had,  because  it  is  the 
very  thing  Christ  offers  to  give,  teaching  us  how 
to  find  and  receive  it  in  Himself.     In  face  even 
of  all  these  difficulties,  I,  nevertheless,  urge  all 
Bible  students,  thoughtfully  and  prayerfully  to 
enquire  whether   the   very  first   question   to   be 
settled  in  the  inner  chamber  is  not  this:  Is  my 
heart  in  the  state  in  which  my  Teacher  desires 
it  to  be  ?    And  if  it  be  not,  is  not  my  first  work  to 
yield  myself  to  Him  to  work  it  in  me? 



"  Take  My  yoke  upon  you  and  learn  of  Me :  for  I  am 
meek  and  lowly  of  heart ;  and  ye  shall  find  rest  to  your 
souls." — Matt.  xi.  29. 

The  first  virtue  of  a  pupil  is  docility  and  willing- 
ness to  be  taught.  What  does  this  imply?  A 
consciousness  of  his  own  ignorance,  a  readiness 
to  give  up  his  own  way  of  thinking  or  of  doing, 
and  to  look  at  things  from  the  teacher^s  stand- 
point, a  quiet  confidence  that  the  master  knows 
and  will  show  him  how  to  learn  to  know  too.  The 
meek  and  lowly  spirit  listens  carefully  to  know 
what  the  teacher's  will  is,  and  at  once  hastens  to 
carry  it  out.  If  this  be  the  spirit  in  a  pupil  it 
must  be  the  teacher's  fault  if  he  does  not  learn. 

And  how  is  it  that,  with  Christ  as  our  teacher, 
there  is  with  many,  so  much  failure,  so  little  real 
growth  in  spiritual  knowledge?  So 'much  hearing 
and  reading  of  the  Bible,  so  much  profession  of 
faith  in  it  as  our  only  rule  of  life,  and  yet  such 
a  lack  of  the  manifestation  of  its  spirit  and  its 
power?  So  much  often  of  honest,  earnest  appli- 
cation in  the  closet  and  the  Bible  circle,  with 
but  little  of  the  joy  and  strength  God's  Word  could 


Teachableness  87 

The  question  is  one  of  the  utmost  importance. 
There  must  be  some  cause  why  there  are  so  many 
disciples  of  Jesus  who  think  they  honestly  desire 
to  know  and  do  His  will,  and  who  yet  by  their 
own  confession  and  the  evidence  of  those  around 
them,  are  not  holding  forth  the  word  of  life  as  a 
light  in  the  world.  If  the  answer  could  be  found 
to  the  question,  their  lives  might  be  changed. 

Our  text  suggests  the  answer :  "  Take  My  yoke 
upon  you  and  learn  of  Me;  for  I  am  meek  and 
lowly  of  heart;  and  ye  shall  find  rest  to  your 
souls.'^    Many  have  taken  Christ  as  a  Saviour 
BUT  NOT  AS  A  Teacher.    They  have  put  their 
trust  in  Him  as  the  Good  Shepherd  who  gave  His 
life  for  the  sheep ;  they  know  little  of  the  reality 
of  His  daily  shepherding  His  flock,  calling  every 
one  by  name,  or  of  thus  hearing  His  voice  and 
following  Him  alone.     They  know  little  of  what 
it  is  to  follow  the  Lamb;  before  everything  to 
receive  from  Him  the  lamb  nature,  and  to  seek 
like  Him  to  be  meek  and  lowly  in  heart.    It  was 
by  their  three  years'  course  in  His  school  that 
Christ's  disciples  were  fitted  for  the  baptism  of 
the  Holy  Spirit,  and  the  fulfilment  of  all  the 
wonderful  promises  He  had  given  them.     It  Is 
Under  the  Personal  Teaching  op  Our  Lord 
Jesus,  and  Through  That  Docility  of  the 
Meek  and  Lowly  Heart,  Which  Daily  Waits 

ING, that  we  can  truly  find  rest  to  our  souls.  All 
the  weariness  and  burden  of  strain  and  failure  and 

88  The  Inner  Chamber 

disappointment,  then  gives  way  to  that  divine 
peace  which  knows  that  all  is  being  cared  for  by 
Christ  Himself. 

That  taking  of  Christ's  yoke  and  learning  of 
Him  His  meekness  and  lowliness  of  heart,  and 
with  that,  the  teachableness  that  refuses  to  know 
or  do  aught  in  its  own  wisdom,  is  to  be  the  spirit 
of  our  whole  life,  every  day  and  all  the  day.  But  it 
is  especially  in  the  morning  hour  that  this  is  to 
be  cultivated,  and  deliverance  sought  from  self 
and  all  its  energy.  It  is  there,  while  occupied 
with  the  words  of  God  and  of  Christ  and  of  the 
Holy  Spirit,  that  we  need  daily  to  realise  that 
these  only  profit  as  they  lead  to,  and  are  opened 
up  by,  the  personal  teaching  of  Christ.  It  is 
there  that  we  daily  need  to  experience  that  only  as 
the  living  Lord  Jesus  "in  whom  all  the  fulness 
dwells,"  in  whom  all  our  life  and  salvation  are 
gathered  up.  Himself  Comes  Near  and  Takes 
Charge  of  Us^  that  His  teaching  can  be  received. 
And  it  is  there  that  we  must  definitely  ask  and 
cultivate  the  teachableness  that  takes  up  His  yoke 
and  learns  of  Him.  Once  again,  the  teachable- 
ness is  everything.  If  it  be  true  of  the  Holy 
Spirit  who  dwells  in  us,  the  Spirit  of  Christ 
Jesus,  "He  shall  teach  you  all  things,"  and  if 
His  whole  life  and  work  in  us  is  a  Divine  teach- 
ing, it  is  equally  true  that  our  whole  life  must 
be  a  Divine  teachableness.  So  only,  can  our  daily 
intercourse  with  God's  Word,  and  our  daily  life 
be  what  our  Lord  Jesus  can  make  it. 

Teachableness  89 

"Unlearning  is  often  the  most  important  part  of 
learning:  wrong  impressions,  prejudices  and  pre- 
possessions are  insuperable  obstacles  in  the  way  of 
learning.  Until  these  have  been  removed  the 
teacher  labours  in  vain.  The  knowledge  he  com- 
municates only  touches  the  surface:  deep  under 
the  surface  the  pupil  is  guided  by  that  which  has 
become  a  second  nature  to  him.  The  first  work 
of  the  teacher  is  to  discover,  to  make  the  pupil 
see  and  remove,  these  hindrances. 

There  can  be  no  true  and  faithful  learning  of 
Christ  where  we  are  not  ready  to  unlearn.  By 
heredity,  by  education,  by  tradition,  we  have  our 
thoughts  about  religion  and  God's  Word,  which 
are  often  the  greater  hindrance  in  proportion  to 
our  assurance  that  they  are  indeed  the  truth.  To 
learn  of  Christ  needs  a  willingness  to  subject 
every  truth  we  hold  to  His  inspection  for  criticism 
and  correction. 

Humility  is  the  root  virtue  of  the  Christian 
life.  The  law  is  absolute  in  God's  Kingdom — 
"He  that  humbleth  himself  shall  be  exalted." 
Our  disappointment  in  striving  after  higher 
degrees  of  grace,  faith,  spiritual  knowledge,  love 
to  souls  and  power  to  bless,  is  all  owing  to  this. 
We  have  not  accepted  the  humility  of  Christ  as  the 
beginning  and  the  perfection  of  His  salvation. 
"GTod  giveth  grace  to  the  humble"  has  a  far 
wider  and  deeper  application  than  we  think. 

Docility  is  one  form  of  humility.  In  the  morn- 
ing watch  we  place  ourselves  as  learners  in  Christ's 

90  The  Inner  Chamber 

school;  let  docility,  let  humility  be  the  distin- 
guishing mark  of  the  learner,  and,  if  we  feel  how 
little  we  have  of  it,  let  us  listen  to  the  voice  that 
says,  "  Take  My  yoke  upon  you,^^  and,  for  all  that 
this  implies — "learn  of  Me,  for  I  am  meek  and 
lowly  of  heart.  And  ye  shall  find  rest  to  your 



"In  the  beginning  was  the  Word.  And  the  Word 
was  God.  In  Him  was  life.  And  the  Life  was  the 
Light  of  men." — John  i.  1,  4. 

"  He  that  followeth  Me  shall  not  walk  in  darkness, 
but  shall  have  the  Light  of  Life."— John  viii.  12. 

Because  Christ  was  God,  He  could  be  the  Word 
of  God.  Because  He  had  the  Life  of  God  in 
Himself,  He  could  be  the  revealer  of  that  Life. 
And  so  as  the  Living  Word  He  is  the  Life-giving 
Word.  The  written  word  can  be  made  void  and  of 
none  effect  where  human  wisdom  is  trusted  for  its 
apprehension.  It  is  only  as  it  is  accepted  as  the 
seed  in  which  the  life  of  the  Living  Word  lies  hid, 
to  be  quickened  by  the  Holy  Spirit,  that  it  can  be 
to  us  the  word  of  life.  Our  intercourse  with  God's 
written  word  ought  ever  to  be  inspired  and  regu- 
lated by  the  faith  of  the  Eternal  Word,  who  was 

The  same  truth  comes  out  in  the  expression  that 
follows:  The  life  is  the  light.  When  we  see  the 
light  shining,  we  know  that  there  is  fire  burning 
in  some  form  or  other.  And  so  in  the  spiritual 
world.  There  must  be  life  ere  there  can  be  light. 
There  may  be  reflected  light  from  a  dead  or  dark 

92  The  Inner  Chamber 

object.  There  may  be  a  borrowed  light  without 
life.  But  true  life  can  alone  show  true  light.  He 
that  follows  Christ  shall  have  the  light  of  life. 

These  two  statements  of  one  great  truth  strik- 
ingly confirm  what  we  learnt  about  the  Spirit  of 
God.  Even  as  He  knows  the  things  of  God  be- 
cause He  is  the  life  of  God,  so  Christ  is  the  Word 
because  He  is  God,  and  has  the  life  of  God;  and 
so  the  light  of  God  only  shines  where  the  life  of 
God  is.  All  three  thoughts  bring  us  again  to  our 
Bible  study  with  the  one  blessed,  but  so  needful 
lesson,  that  it  is  only  as  the  written  word  brings 
us  the  life  of  the  Eternal  Word,  as  its  light  within 
the  heart  is  the  shining  of  a  life  that  is  working 
there,  as  the  Holy  Spirit  who  knows  the  things 
of  God  because  He  is  the  life  of  God,  makes  them 
life  and  truth  within  us,  can  our  study  of  Scrip- 
ture really  bless  us. 

And  so  we  come  back  to  the  one  great  lesson 
the  Spirit  seeks  to  enforce  in  regard  to  God's 
Word — that  It  Is  Only  as  Scripture  is  Eeceived 
OUT  OF  THE  Life  of  God  into  Our  Life  That 
There  Is  Any  Eeal  Kjnowledge  of  It.  It  is  a 
seed  that  bears  within  it  the  Divine  life:  where 
it  is  received  in  the  good  soil  of  a  heart  that  hun- 
gers for  that  life,  it  will  spring  up  and  bring  forth 
fruit,  like  all  seed,  "  after  its  kind.''  It  will  re- 
produce in  our  life  the  very  life  of  God,  out  of 
which  it  came,  the  very  likeness  and  disposition 
of  the  Father  and  the  Son  through  the  Holy 
Spirit.    We  want  to  turn  all  this  to  practical  ac- 

The  Life  and  the  Light  93 

count  and  to  apply  it  directly  to  our  private  Bible 

You  want  to  know  how  to  begin.  The  rules  are 
very  simple. 

The  first :  "  Be  still  and  know  that  I  am  God.'' 
Take  time  to  be  quiet  and  to  realise  God.  "  Hold 
thy  peace  at  the  presence  of  the  Lord.''  "  Be 
silent  before  the  Lord."  "The  Lord  is  in  His 
Holy  temple;  let  all  the  earth  keep  silence  before 
Him."  Worship  and  wait  on  Him  that  He  may 
speak  to  thee.  The  next:  Eemember  that  the 
word  comes  out  of  the  life,  the  heart  of  God 
carrying  His  life  to  impart  it  to  thine.  Nothing 
less  than  the  life  of  God  is  it:  nothing  less  than 
the  power  of  God  can  make  it  live  in  thee.  The 
next :  believe  in  Christ  the  Living  Word.  "  In 
Him  was  life,  and  the  life — His  life,  was  the 
light  of  men."  "  He  that  followeth  ME  shall  have 
the  light  of  life."  Follow  Jesus  in  love  and  long- 
ing desire,  in  obedience  and  service,  and  so  His 
life  will  work  in  thee,  and  the  life  shall  be  the 
light  of  thy  soul. 

And  then,  ask  the  Father  for  the  Holy  Spirit 
Who  alone  Kkoweth  the  things  of  God,  to  make 
the  word  in  thy  heart  living  and  active.  Hunger 
for  the  will  of  God  as  thy  daily  food;  thirst  for 
the  living  spring  of  the  Spirit  within  thee ;  receive 
the  word  into  thy  will,  thy  life,  thy  joy — ^the  life 
it  brings  will  give  the  light  with  which  it  shines. 

The  reason  I  have  so  often  insisted  upon  the 
truth  put  forward  in  the  last  few  chapters  is  very 

94  The  Inner  Chamber 

simple.  My  own  experience  has  taught  me  how 
long  it  is  before  we  clearly  apprehend  that  the 
word  of  God  must  be  received  into  the  life  and 
not  only  into  the  mind,  and  how  long  again  even 
after  we  apprehend  it,  before  we  fully  believe 
and  act  it  out.  "  To  write  the  same  thing  to  you 
is  not  grievous  to  me,  and  for  you  it  is  profitable." 
Study  the  lesson  till  you  know  it.  The  word 
comes  out  of  the  life  of  God,  carries  that  life  in 
itself,  seeks  to  enter  my  life  and  fill  it  with  the 
life  of  God.  This  life  is  the  light  of  men,  and 
gives  the  light  of  the  knowledge  of  the  glory  of 

You  may  find  that  this  lesson  takes  more  time 
than  you  think,  that  it  hinders  you  more  than  it 
helps  in  your  Bible  lessons,  and  that  it  grows 
all  the  more  difficult  the  longer  you  study  it.  Be 
not  afraid  or  impatient;  but  be  assured  that  if 
you  learn  it  aright,  you  will  bless  God  that  it 
has  become  a  key  you  never  had  before,  to  the 
hidden  treasure  of  the  word,  giving  you  true 
wisdom  in  the  hidden  part. 

So  I  repeat  again  the  simple  words  so  inexhaus- 
tibly blessed  and  true.  As  the  Spirit  that  lives  in 
God  alone  knows  the  things  of  God,  It  Is  alone 
THE  Spirit  Living  in  Me^  That  Can  Make  Me 
Know  the  Things  of  God  by  Impaeting  Them 
TO  My  Life 

As  Christ  was  the  Word  because  He  was  God, 
and  had  the  life  of  God,  the  written  word  can 
only  bless  me  as,  through  it,  the  living  Word 

The  Life  and  the  Light  95 

brings  the  life  of  God  unto  me.  As  the  life  was 
in  Christ,  and  as  the  Life  is  the  Light  of  men,  so 
it  is  only  as  I  have  the  life  of  Christ  through  the 
word  that  I  have  the  light  of  the  knowledge  of 



"  Blessed  is  the  man  whose  delight  is  in  the  law  of 
the  Lord;  and  in  His  law  doth  he  meditate  day  and 
night"— Ps.  i.  1,  2. 

There  is  a  loud  call  on  every  side  for  more,  for 
truer,  Bible  study.  Evangelists  like  Mr.  Moody 
and  many  others,  have  proved  what  power  there 
is  in  preaching  drawn  directly  from  God's  word, 
and  inspired  by  the  faith  of  its  power.  Earnest 
Christians  have  asked:  "Why  cannot  our  minis- 
ters speak  in  the  same  way,  giving  the  very  word 
of  God  a  larger  place  ? ''  Many  a  young  minister 
has  come  away  from  the  Theological  Hall,  confess- 
ing that  he  had  been  taught  everything  but  the 
knowledge  of  how  to  study  the  Word  himself,  and 
then  to  stir  up  and  help  others  to  study  it.  In 
some  of  our  Churches,  the  desire  has  been  ex- 
pressed to  supply  this  need  in  the  training  of 
ministers.  It  might  appear  a  very  simple  thing 
to  find  good  men  to  undertake  the  work;  and  yet 
it  has  been  found  difficult  for  men  with  theological 
training  to  turn  to  the  simplicity  and  directness 
of  appeal  to  God's  Word,  which  is  needed  to  show 
younger  men  the  way  to  make  Scripture  the  one 
source  of  their  knowledge  and  teaching.  In  the 
Students'  Movement  of  our  day,  God  be  praised^ 

The  Bible  Student  97 

Bible  study  has  had  the  place  of  prominence  given 
to  it.  There  is  a  wonderful  opportunity,  as  there 
is  a  very  great  need,  for  so  guiding  it  that  it  may 
bring  a  full  blessing  to  the  individual  lives,  by 
giving  God's  word  its  true  place  in  the  work  to 
be  done  for  Him.  Let  us  look  at  the  principles 
underlying  the  demand  for  more  Bible  study,  and 
in  faithfulness  to  which  alone,  it  can  be  truly 
carried  out. 

1.  God's  Word  Is  the  Only  Authentic  Eeve- 
LATiON  OF  God's  Will.  All  human  statements 
of  Divine  truth,  however  correct,  are  defective  and 
carry  a  measure  of  human  authority.  In  the 
Word,  the  voice  of  God  speaks  to  us  directly. 
Every  child  of  God  is  called  to  direct  intercourse 
with  the  Father,  through  the  Word.  As  God 
reveals  all  His  heart  and  grace  in  it.  His  child 
can,  if  he  receives  it  from  God,  get  all  the  life 
and  power  there  is  in  the  Word  into  his  own  heart 
and  being.  We  know  how  few  second-hand  reports 
of  messages  or  events  can  be  fully  trusted.  Very 
few  men  report  accurately  what  they  have  heard. 
Every  believer  has  the  right  and  calling,  to  stand 
in  direct  communication  with  God.  It  is  in  the 
Word  God  has  revealed,  it  is  in  the  Word  He  still 
reveals,  Himself  to  each  individual. 

2.  This  Word  of  God  Is  a  Living  Word.  It 
Carries  a  Divine  Quickening  Power  in  It. 
The  human  expression  of  the  truth  is  often  a 
mere  conception  or  image  of  the  truth,  appealing 
to  the  mind  and  having  little  or  no  effect.    The 

98  The  Inner  Chamber 

faith  of  its  being  God's  own  word  and  of  the 
presence  and  power  in  it,  makes  it  effectual.  All 
life  or  spirit  creates  for  itself  a  form  in  which  it 
is  made  manifest.  The  words  in  which  God  has 
chosen  to  clothe  His  own  Divine  thoughts  are  God- 
breathed  and  the  life  of  God  dwells  in  them.  God 
is  not  the  God  of  the  dead  but  of  the  living.  The 
word  was  not  only  inspired  when  first  given:  the 
Spirit  of  God  still  breathes  in  it.  God  is  still  in 
and  with  His  word.  Christians  and  teachers  need 
to  believe  this.  It  will  lead  them  to  give  the 
simple  Divine  word  a  confidence  that  no  human 
teaching  may  have. 

3.  God  Himself  alone  Can,  and  Most 
Surely  Will,  Be  the  Interpreter  of  His  Own 
Word.  Divine  truth  needs  a  Divine  Teacher. 
Spiritual  apprehension  of  spiritual  things  can  only 
come  of  the  Holy  Spirit.  The  deeper  the  convic- 
tion of  the  unique  character  of  the  word,  essen- 
tially different  from,  and  infinitely  exalted  above, 
all  merely  human  apprehension,  the  more  urgently 
will  the  need  be  felt  of  a  supernatural,  a  directly 
Divine,  teaching.  And  all  the  more  will  the  bless- 
ing be  wrought  which  is  the  great  purpose  of  the 
word.  The  soul  will  be  brought  to  seek  God  Him- 
self, and  it  will  be  led  to  find  Him  in  the  Holy 
Spirit  who  dwells  in  the  heart.  As  that  Spirit,  in 
whom  God,  so  wonderfully,  has  entered  our  very 
life  and  identified  Himself  with  it,  is  waited  on 
and  trusted.  He  will  make  us  to  know  wisdom  in 
the  hidden  part,  in  the  heart  and  disposition.    The 

The  Bible  Student  99 

word  prayerfully  read  and  cherished  in  the  heart 
in  this  faith,  will  through  the  Spirit,  be  both  light 
and  life  within  us. 

4.  The  Wokd  Then-  Brings  Us  into  the 
Closest  and  Most  Intimate  Fellowship  with 
God — Unity  of  Will  and  Life.  In  the  word 
God  has  revealed  His  whole  heart  and  all  His  will : 
in  His  law  and  precepts  what  He  wills  us  to  do :  in 
His  redemption  and  His  promises  what  He  wills 
to  do  for  us.  As  we  accept  that  will  in  the  word 
as  from  God  Himself,  and  yield  ourselves  to  its 
working,  we  learn  to  know  God  in  His  will,  in  the 
power  of  which  He  works  in  us,  and  in  which  His 
condescending  love  is  known.  And  the  word  works 
out  His  richest  purpose  as  it  fills  us  with  the 
reverence  and  dependence  that  comes  from  the 
Divine  presence  and  nearness.  Nothing  less  than 
this  must  be  our  aim,  may  be  our  experience,  in 
all  our  Bible  study. 

Let  us  now  take  these  four  thoughts  over  again 
and  make  the  practical  application. 

In  Holy  Scripture  we  have  the  very  words  in 
which  the  Holy  God  has  spoken  and  in  which  He 
speaks  to  us. 

These  words  are,  to-day,  full  of  the  life  of  God. 
God  is  in  them,  and  makes  His  presence  and  power 
known  to  them  who  seek  Him  in  them. 

To  those  who  ask  and  wait  for  the  teaching  of 
the  Holy  Spirit  who  dwells  within  us,  the  Spirit 
will  reveal  the  spiritual  meaning  and  power  of  the 

lOO  The  Inner  Chamber 

The  word  is  thus  meant  every  day  to  be  the 
means  of  the  revelation  of  God  Himself  to  the  soul 
and  of  fellowship  with  Him. 

Have  we  learnt  to  apply  these  truths?  Do  we 
understand  that  the  word  ever  says  "  Seek  God. 
Hearken  to  God.  Wait  for  God.  God  will  speak 
to  you.  Let  God  teach  you  ?  "  All  we  hear  about 
more  Bible  teaching  and  Bible  study  must  lead  to 
this  one  thing.  We  must  be  men,  and  we  must 
help  to  train  others  to  be  men,  with  whom  the 
Word  is  Never  Separated  from  the  Living 
God  Himself,  and  Who  Live  as  Men  to  Whom 
God  in  Heaven  Speaks  Every  Day  and  All 



"  Set  your  mind  on  the  things  that  are  above,  .  .  . 
for  ye  died  and  your  life  is  hid  with  Christ  in  God."— 
Col.  iii.  2,  3.  R.  V. 

In  entering  into  God's  presence  in  the  morning 
hour  much  depends  upon  the  Christian  realising 
not  only  who  God  is,  but  Who  He  Himself  Is, 
and  what  the  relation  in  which  he  stands  to  God. 
To  the  question  "  Who  art  thou? ''  which  is  asked, 
not  in  words  but  in  spirit,  of  each  one  who  claims 
right  of  access  and  an  audience  from  the  Most 
High,  there  must  be  an  answer  ready  in  his  inmost 
consciousness;  that  consciousness  must  be  nothing 
less  than  a  living  sense  of  the  place  he  has  in  Christ 
before  God.  The  mode  of  expressing  it  may  differ 
at  different  times,  in  substance  it  will  always  be 
the  same. 

Who  am  I?  yes,  let  me  think  and  say,  who,  I 
am  who  now  come  to  ask  that  God  shall  meet  me 
here,  shall  spend  this  whole  day  with  me?  I  am 
one  who  knows,  by  the  word  and  Spirit  of  God, 
that.X,amin-.Chxist,  and  that  my  life  is  hid  with 
Christ  in  God.  In  Christ  I  died  to  sin  and  the 
world.  I  am  now  taken  out  of  them,  separated 
from  them,  and  delivered  from  their  power.  ^  I 
have  been  raised  together  with  Christ  and  in  Him 

102  The  Inner  Chamber 

I  live  unto  God.  My  life  is  hid  with  Christ  in  God 
and  I  come  to  God  to.  claim  and  obtain  all  Divine 
life  that  is  hidden  away  in  Him  for  to-day^s  need 
and  supply. 

Yes,  this  is  who  I  am,  I  say  it  to  God  in  humble, 
holy  reverence,  as  my  plea.  I  say  it  to  myself  to 
encourage  others,  as  well  as  myself,  to  seek  and 
expect  nothing  less — grace  to  live  out,  here  on 
earth,  the  hidden  life  of  heaven.  I  am  one  whP 
longs  to  say,  who  does  say,  Christ  is  my  life.  The 
longing  of  my  soul  is  for  Christ,  revealed  by  the 
Father  Himself  within  the  heart.  Nothing  less 
can  satisfy  me.  My  life  is  hid  with  Christ.  He 
can  be  my  life  n^  other  way  than  as  He  is  in  my 
heart.  Ye§!  with  nothing  less  can  I  be  content 
than  Christ  in  the  heart.  Christ  is  a  Saviour  from 
sin.  Christ  as  the  gift  and  bringer  of  God's  love. 
Christ  as  an  indwelling  Friend  and  Lord. 

Oh!  my  God!  if  Thou  dost  ask,  "Who  art 
thou  ?  '^  listen  to  my  stammering :  I  live  in  Christ 
and  Christ  in  me.  Thou  alone  canst  make  me 
know  and  be  all  it  means. 

There  is  more  I  shall  have  to  say,  as  my  plea 
for  the  grace  of  God's  presence  and  power  all  the 
day.  I  come  as  one  who  desires,  who  seeks,  to  be 
prepared  to  live  out  the  life  of  Christ  to-day  on 
earth,  to  translate  His  hidden  heavenly  glory, 
into  the  language  of  daily  life,  vtdth  its  disposi- 
tions and  its  duties.  As  the  Christ  on  earth  lived 
only  to  do  the  will  of  God,  it  is  my  great  desire 
to  stand  perfect  and  complete  in  all  His  will.    My 

Who  Art  Thou?  103 

ignorance  of  that  will,  in  all  its  spiritual  applica-  ^  % 

tion  to  intercourse  with  the  world  and  men,  is  very  /^fiA^^i^X 

great.    My  impotence  is  still  greater.    And  yet  I 

come  to  God  as  one  who  dare  not  offer  less  or  seek 

any  compromise,  as  one  who  in  all  honesty  accepts 

the  high  calling  of  living  out  fully  the  will  of 

God  in  all  things. 

It  is  this  brings  me  to  the  closet.  As  I  think 
of  aiFmy  failures  in  fulfilling  God's  will,  as  I 
look  forward  to  all  the  temptations  and  dangers 
that  await  me,  as  I  feel  my  entire  insufficiency 
and  yet  say  to  God— I  come  to  claim  the  life  hid 
in  Christ,  that  I  may  live  the  life  for  Christ;  I 
feel  urged  and  drawn  not  to  be  content  without 
the  quiet  assurance  that  God  will  go  with  me  and 
bless  me. 

Who  am  I  that  I  should  ask  these  great  and 
wonderful  things  of  God? 

May  I  indeed  expect  to  live  the  life  hid  with 
Christ  in  God,  so  as  to  make  it  manifest  in  my 
mortal  body?  I  may;  for  it  is  God  Himself  will 
work  it  in  me  by  the  Holy  Spirit  dwelling  in  me. 
The  same  God  who  raised  Christ  from  the  dead, 
and  then  set  Him  at  His  right  hand,  has  raised 
me  with  Him  and  given  me  the  Spirit  of  the  glory 
of  His  Son  in  my  heart.  AJife  iit Christy  given 
up  to  know  and  do  all  God^s  will,  is  the  life  God 
Himself  will  work  and  maintain  increasingly  in 
me  by  the  Holy  Spirit.  And  when  I  come  in  the 
morning  and  present  myself  before  Him  to  take 
up  afresh  the  life  He  has  hidden  in  Himself  for 

104  The  Inner  Chamber 

me,  where  His  Son  is  hidden,  and  live  it  out  in 
the  flesh,  I  can  wait  confidently  and  quietly,  as 
one  in  whom  the  Spirit  dwells,  for  the  Father  to 
give  the  fresh  anointing  that  teacheth  all  things, 
and  Himself  to  take  charge  of  the  new  day  He 
has  given  me. 

My  brother,  I  am  sure  you  feel  of  what  infinite 
importance  it  is,  if  the  morning  hour  is  to  secure 
God's  presence  for  the  day,  that  you  take  firm 
stand  on  nothing  less  than  the  ground  of  a  full 
redemption.  Believe  what  God  says  to  you.  Ac- 
cept what  God  has  bestowed  on  you  in  Christ. 
Be  consciously  and  openly  what  God  has  made  you 
to  be.  Take  time  before  God  to  know  it  and  say 
it.  How  much  in  a  battle  depends  upon  an  im- 
pregnable position.  Take  your  place  Where  God 
Has  Placed  You. 

The  very  attempt  to  do  this,  may  at  times  in- 
terfere with  your  ordinary  Bible  study,  or  prayer. 
It  will  be  no  loss.  It  will  be  fully  recompensed 
later.  Your  life  depends  upon  knowing  who  your 
God  is,  AND  Who  You  Are  as  His  Redeemed  One 
IN  Christ.  The  life  of  every  day  depends  on  it ; 
when  once  you  have  learned  the  secret,  it  will,  even 
when  you  do  not  think  of  it,  be  the  strength  of 
your  heart,  both  in  going  in  to  God,  and  going 
out  with  Him  to  the  world. 


THE    WILL    OF    GOD 

"Thy  will  be  done  on  earth  as  it  is  in  heaven."— 
Matt.  vi.  10. 

1.  The  will  of  God  is  the  living  power  to  which 
the  world  owes  its  existence.  Through  that  will, 
and  according  to  that  will,  it  is  what  it  is.  It  is 
the  expression  or  manifestation  or  embodiment  of 
that  Divine  Will  in  its  wisdom,  power  and  good- 
ness. It  has,  in  beauty  and  glory,  but  what  it 
owes  to  God's  having  willed  it.  As  that  Will 
formed  it,  so  it  upholds  it  every  day.  Creation 
thus  does  what  it  was  destined  for,  it  shows  forth 
the  glory  of  God.  "  They  gave  glory  to  Him  that 
liveth  for  ever  and  ever,  saying.  Thou  art  worthy 
to  receive  glory,  for  Thou  hast  created  all  things, 
and  because  of  Thy  will  they  are,  and  were 

2.  This  is  true  of  inanimate  nature.  It  is  still 
more  true  of  intelligent  creatures.  The  Divine 
Will  undertook  the  creation  of  a  creature  will  in 
its  own  image  and  likeness,  with  the  living  power 
to  know  and  accept  and  co-operate  with  that  Will 
to  which  it  owed  its  being.  The  blessedness  of  the 
unf alien  angels,  consists  in  counting  it  their  high- 
est honour  and  happiness  to  be  able  to  wiU  and 


lo6  The  Inner  Chamber 

do  exactly  what  God  wills  and  does.  The  glory 
of  heaven  is  that  God's  will  is  done  there.  The 
sig,,^^. misery  of  fallen  angels  and  men,  consists 
simply  in  their  having  turned  away  from,  and 
refused  to  abide  in,  and  to  do,  the  will  of  God. 

3.  Eedemption  is  nothing  but  the  restoration 
of  God's  will  to  its  place  in  the  world.  To  this 
end  Christ  came  and  Showed  in  a  Human  Life, 
How  Man  Has  but  One  Thing  to  Live  for^  the 
Doing  of  God's  Will.  He  showed  us  how  there 
was  one  way  of  conquering  self-will — ^by  a  death  ^ to 
it,  in  obeying  God's  will  even  unto  death.  So 
He  atoned  for  our  self-will  and  conqueredjt  for 
us,  and  opened  a  path  through  death  and  resur- 

^i^A^^ection,  into  a  life  entirely  united  with,  and  de- 
voted to,  the  will  of  God. 

4.  God's  redeeming  will  is  now  able  to  do  in 
fallen  man,  what  His  creating  will  had  wrought 
and  ever  works  in  nature,  or  in  unfallen  beings. 
In  Christ  and  His  example,  God  Has  Revealed 
THE  Devotion  to  and  the  Delight  in  His 
WiHi,  WHICH  He  Asks  and. Expects  of  Us.  In 
Christ  and,  His  Spirit  He  renews  and  takes  pos- 
session of  our  will :  works  in  it  both  to  will  and  to 
do,  making  us  able  and  willing  to  do  all  His  will. 

He  Himself  worketh  all  things  after  the  coun- 
sel of  His  will.  "He  makes  us  perfect  in  every 
good  thing  to  do  His  will,  working  in  us  that 
which  is  pleasing  in  His  sight."  As  this  is  re- 
vealed by  the  Holy  Spirit,  and  believed,  and  re- 
ceived into  the  heart,  we  begin  to  get  an  insight 

The  Will  of  God  107 

into  the  prayer,  "Thy  will  be  done  on  earth  as 
it  is  in  heaven/^  and  the  true  desire  is  awakened 
for  the  life  it  promises. 

5.  How  essential  it  is  to  the  believer  that  he 
realise  his  relations  to  God's  will,  and  its  claim  on 

Many,  many,  believers  have  no  conception  of 
what  their  faith  or  their  feeling  ought  to  be  in 
regard  to  the  will  of  God.  How  few  who  say :  My 
Whole  Thought  of  Blessedness  is  in  INT othing 
BUT  THE  Most  Complete  Harmony  with  the 
Will  of  God.  I  feel  my  one  need  to  be,  the  ever 
maintained  surrender,  not,  in  the  very  least  thing, 
ever  to  do  other  than  what  God  wills  me  to  do.  By 
God's  grace  every  hour  of  my  life  may  be  a  living 
in  the  will  of  God,  and  doing  it  as  it  is  done  in 

6.  It  is  only  as  a  living  faith  in  the  Divine 
Will,  working  out  its  purposes  increasingly  in  us, 
mastersjthejieart,  that  we  shall  have  the  courage 
to  believe  in  the  answer  to  the  prayer  our  Lord 
taught  us.  It  is  only  as  we  see,  that  it  is  through 
Jesus  Christ,  that  this  working  of  God's  will  in  us 
is  carried  out,  that  we  shall  understand  how  it  is 
the  close  union  to  Him  that  gives  the  confidence 
that  God  will  work  all  in  us.  And  it  is  only  this 
confidence  in  God,  through  Jesife  Christ,  that  will 
assure  us,  that  we  too  can  do  our  part,  and  that 
our  feeble  will  on  earth  can  truly  ever  correspond 
and  co-operate  with  the  will  of  God.  Let  us  but 
accept  our  destiny  and  our  obligation  as  the  one 

lo8  The  Inner  Chamber 

thing  our  heart  desires,  that  in  everything  the 
will  of  God  be  done  in  ns  and  by  ns,  as  it  is  done 
in  heaven;  that-Jaith  will  overcome  the  world. 

7.  The  will  may  not  be  disconnected  from  its 
living  union  with  the  Father  here,  nor  the  living 
presence  of  the  Blessed  Son.  It  is  only  by  a 
divine  guidance  given  through  the  Holy  Spirit, 
that  the  will  of  God  in  its  beauty,  in  its  applica- 
tion to  daily  life,  in  its  ever-growing  revelation, 
can  be  truly  known.  'I]nsJea(Jiing_wilLlifi-^iYen, 
not  to  the  wise  and  prudent,  but  to  the  babes,  the 
men  of  childrlike ^disposition,  wh<gLAre_jwilling.  to 
wartior,  and-depend-on  what  is.^iven_thgm.  The 
Divine  guidance  will  lead  in  the  path  of  God's 

8.  Our  secret  intercourse  with  God  is  the  place 
where  we  repeat  and  learn  the  great  lessons.    .    .    . 

The  God  whom  I  worship  asks  of  me  perfect 
union  with  His  will.  .  .  .  My  worship  means : 
"  I  delight  to  do  Thy  Will,  0  God."  ...  The 
morning  hour,  the  inner  chamber,  the  secret  inter- 
course with  God,  as  in  these  the  knowledge  of  God's 
will,  the  power  to  perform  it,  the  entire  and  joy- 
ful surrender  to  do  all  God  wills,  are  sought  and 
cultivated,  our  study  of  God's  word  and  our  prayer 
will  bring  their  true  and  full  blessing. 



"  Thy  words  were  found  and  I  did  eat  them ;  and 
Thy  word  was  unto  me  the  joy  and  rejoicing  of  my 
heart." — Jeb.  xv.  16. 

Here  you  have  three  things.  The  Finding  of 
God's  word.  This  only  comes  to  those  who  seek 
diligently  for  it.  Then  the  Eating.  This  means 
the  personal  appropriation  for  our  own  suste- 
nance, the  taking  up  into  our  being  the  words  of 
God.  "  Man  shall  not  live  by  bread  alone,  but 
by  every  word  that  proceedeth  out  of  the  mouth 
of  God.'^  And  then  the  Eejoicing,  "  The  King- 
dom of  Heaven  is  like  unto  treasure  hid  in  a  field 
which,  when  a  man  hath  found,  he  hideth,  and  for 
joy  thereof  goeth  and  selleth  all  that  he  hath,  and 
buyeth  that  field."  There  we  have  the  finding, 
and  the  appropriating,  and  the  rejoicing.  "  Thy 
words  Were  Found,  and  I  Did  Eat  them,  and 
Thy  word  was  the  Joy  and  Eejoicing  of  my 

Eating  is  here  the  central  thought.     It  is  pre- 
ceded by  the  searching  and  finding:  it  is  accom- 
panied and  followed  by  the  rejoicing.     It  is  the 
only  aim  and  use  of  the  one;  it  is  the  only  cause 

no  The  Inner  Chamber 

and  life  of  the  other.  In  the  secrecy  of  the  inner 
chamber  how  much  depends  on  this — I  Did  Eat 
them  I 

To  realise  the  difference  between  this  and  the 
finding  of  God's  words,  compare  the  corn  a  man 
may  have  stored  in  his  granary,  with  the  bread  he 
has  on  his  table.  All  the  diligent  labour  he  has 
bestowed  in  sowing  and  harvesting  and  garnering 
his  grain,  all  the  rich  reward  he  has  had  for  his 
care,  cannot  profit  him,  except  as  he  feeds  on  the 
daily  portion  of  the  bread  his  body  requires.  In 
the  finding,  the  harvesting,  and  garnering,  the 
greater  the  quantity  and  the  speedier  the  work — 
these  were  the  things  to  be  looked  at.  In  the  eat- 
ing, the  very  opposite  takes  place — here  it  is  the 
small  quantity,  and  the  slow  and  unceasing  con- 
tinuance, that  characterises  the  appropriation.  Do 
you  see  the  application  of  this  to  your  Scripture 
study  in  the  morning  watch?  You  need  to  Fiistd 
God's  words,  and  by  careful  thought  to  master 
them,  so  as  to  have  them  stored  in  mind  and 
memory  for  your  own  use,  and  that  of  others.  In 
this  work  there  may  often  be  great  joy,  the  joy 
of  harvest  or  of  victory;  the  joy  of  treasure  se- 
cured, or  difficulties  overcome;  and  yet  we  must 
remember  this  finding  and  possessing  the  words 
of  God  is  not  yet  that  eating  of  them  which  alone 
brings  Divine  life  and  strength  to  the  soul. 

The  fact  of  being  occupied  with,  and  possessing 
good  wholesome  corn,  will  not  nourish  a  man.  The 
fact  of  being  deeply  interested  in  the  knowledge 

Feeding  on  the  Word  iii 

of  God's  word  will  not  of  itself  nourish  the  soul. 
*'  Thy  words  were  found  "  that  was  the  first  thing. 
"  And  I  did  eat  them '' — that  brought  the  joy  and 

And  what  is  this  eating?  The  corn  which  the 
husbandman  had  grown  and  rejoiced  in  as  his 
very  own,  could  not  nourish  his  life,  until  he  took 
it  up  and  ate  it,  and  so  completely  assimilated  it, 
that  it  became  part  of  himself,  entering  into  his 
blood,  forming  his  very  bone  and  flesh.  This  has 
to  be  done  in  a  small  quantity  at  a  time,  two  or 
three  times  a  day,  every  day  of  the  year.  This  is 
the  law  of  eating.  It  is  not  the  amount  of  truth 
I  gather  from  God's  word;  it  is  not  the  interest 
or  success  of  my  Bible  study ;  it  is  not  the  increased 
clearness  of  view  or  largeness  of  grasp  I  am  ob- 
taining, that  secure  the  health  and  growth  of  the 
spiritual  life.  By  no  means.  All  this  often  leaves 
the  nature  very  much  unsanctified  and  unspiritual 
with  very  little  of  the  holiness  or  humility  of 
Christ  Jesus:  something  else  is  needed.  Jesus 
said :  My  Meat  Is  to  Do  the  will  of  Him  that  sent 
me.  Taking  a  small  portion  of  God's  word,  some 
definite  command  or  duty  of  the  new  life,  quietly 
receiving  it  into  the  will  and  the  love  of  the  heart, 
yielding  the  whole  being  to  its  rule,  and  vowing, 
in  the  power  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  to  perform  it :  this, 
and  then  Going  to  Do  It^  this  is  eating  the  word, 
taking  it  so  into  our  inmost  being,  that  it  becomes 
a  constituent  part  of  our  very  life.  The  same  with 
a  truth,  or  a  promise;  what  you  have  eaten  now 

112  The  Inner  Chamber 

becomes  part  of  yourself,  you  carry  it  with  you 
where  you  go  as  part  of  the  life  you  live. 

You  see  at  once  how  the  two  points  of  difference 
between  the  corn  in  the  granary  and  the  bread 
on  the  table,  cover  all  your  Bible  study.  The 
gathering  of  Scripture  knowledge  is  one  thing. 
The  eating  of  God^s  word,  the  receiving  it  into 
your  very  heart  by  the  power  of  the  life-giving 
Spirit,  is  something  very  different.  And  you  see 
how  the  two  laws  of  eating  the  food,  in  contrast 
to  those  of  finding  it,  must  always  be  obeyed. 
You  can  gather  and  garner  grain  to  last  for  years. 
You  cannot  swallow  a  large  enough  quantity  of 
bread  to  last  for  days.  Day  by  day,  and  more 
than  once  a  day,  you  take  your  day's  food.  And 
so  the  eating  of  God's  word  must  be  in  small  por- 
tions, just  as  much  as  the  soul  can  each  time 
receive  and  digest.  And  this,  day  by  day,  from 
one  end  of  the  year  to  the  other. 

It  is  such  feeding  on  the  word  which  will 
enable  me  to  say :  "  And  Thy  word  was  the  joy 
and  rejoicing  of  my  heart."  George  Muller  says 
that  he  learned  that  he  ought  not  to  stop  reading 
the  Word  until  he  felt  happy  in  God :  then  he  felt 
fit  to  go  out  to  his  day's  work. 



"If  the  master  of  the  house  had  known  in  what 
hour  the  thief  was  coming  he  would  have  watched 
and  not  left  his  house  to  be  broken  through." — Luke 
xii.  39. 

In  an  address  on  Education  Edward  Thring  says : 
"  The  mighty  leisure  hours  with  their  occupations 
are  all-powerful.  .  .  .  The  mighty  question  of 
leisure  hours  ought  to  be  the  most  important  ques- 
tion of  all  since  it  affects  the  character  most. 
,  .  .  Leisure  hours  are  the  hinge  on  which  true 
education  turns/^  This  great  master  in  the  science 
of  education  had  seen,  that  noble  character,  and 
truth  of  being,  come  first,  and  then  after  that,  as 
second,  the  training  of  skill  and  strength.  He  had 
seen,  too,  that  while  a  teacher  can  do  much  in 
word  and  deed  by  high  belief  and  true  work  to 
stimulate  'and  to  guide,  every  boy  has  to  work  out 
his  own  character.  And  because  it  is  in  the  leisure 
hours,  when  free  from  constraint  and  observation, 
that  the  boy  shows  what  is  really  uppermost  within 
him,  that  he  spoke  of  the  leisure  hours  as  all- 
important  and  all-powerful,  the  hinge  on  which 
true  education  turns. 
In  religion  this  is  intensely  true.  Thousands  of 

114  The  Inner  Chamber 

students  have  felt  it,  without  knowing  how  to 
express  or  explain  it.  At  college  or  school  their 
morning  watch  has  had  its  place  in  their  time 
table.  The  whole  mind  is  braced  up  to  regular 
and  systematic  work,  and  the  time  for  devotion  is 
as  duly  kept  as  that  for  a  class  or  private  study. 

When  the  time  of  relaxation  comes,  and  one  is 
free  to  do  exactly  as  one  likes,  many  a  one  finds 
that  the  morning  watch  and  its  fellowship  with 
God  had  not  become  so  natural,  such  a  necessity 
of  the  spiritual  life  and  such  joy,  that  its  observ- 
ance could  not  interfere  with  our  holiday  pleasure. 
The  holiday  becomes  the  test  of  character,  the 
proof  of  how  far  one  could  say  with  Job,  "  I  have 
esteemed  the  words  of  thy  mouth  more  than  my 
necessary  food.^'  The  question  of  leisure  hours  is 
indeed  all  important.  In  them  I  turn  freely  and 
naturally  to  what  I  love  most.  In  them  I  prove 
and  increase  the  power  to  hold  what  I  have. 

J^^jteacher  in  a  large  school  in  America  is  re- 
ported to  have  said,  "the  greatest  difficulty  with 
which  we  have  to  contend  is  the  summer  vacation. 
Just  when  we  have  brought  a  boy  up  to  a  good 
point  of  discipline,  and  he  responds  to  the  best 
ideals,  we  lose  him,  andVhen  he  comes  back  in 
the  autumn,  we  have  to  begin  and  do  it  all  over. 
The  summer  holiday  simply  demoralises  him." 
This  statement,  referring  to  ordinary  study  and 
duty,  is  strong:  within  certain  limits  it  is  no  less 
applicable  to  the  religious  life.  The  sudden 
relaxation    of    regular    habits,    and    the    subtle 

Holidays  1 15 

thought  that  perfect  liberty  to  do  as  one  likes 
means  perfect  happiness,  throws  many  a  young 
student  back  in  his  Christian  life.  There  is  no 
point  at  which  it  is  more  needful  that  older  and 
more  experienced  members  of  the  Students'  As- 
sociation should  help  and  guard  their  younger 
members  than  this.  The  attainment  of  months 
may  be  lost  bx  the^ne^ledLol A.."^YeeL  We  know 
not  in  what  hour  the  thief  cometh.  The  spirit 
of  the  morning  watch  means  unceasing  vigilance 
all  the  day  and  every  day. 

There  are  various  aspects  in  which  the  danger, 
and  safety  from  it,  may  be  put  before  the  student. 
With  the  holiday  we  are  set  free  from  the  school 
laws  under  which  we  live  during  our  stay  there. 
But  there  are  other  laws:  laws  of  morality,  laws 
of  health,  from  which  there  is  no  relaxation.  Let 
the  student  be  warned  that  the  call  to  daily  fellow- 
ship with  God  belongs  not  to  the  former  but  the 
latter  class.  As  much  as  he  needs  every  day  during 
the  holidays  to  eat  and  breathe,  he  needs  Every 
Day  to  Eat  the  Beead  and  Breathe  the  Air 
OF  Heaven. 

Make  it  clear  that  the  morning  watch  is  not 
only  a  duty,  but  an  unspeakable  privilege  and 
pleasure.  Fellowship  with  God,  abiding  in  Christ, 
loving  the  Word  and  meditating  on  it  all  the  day — 
to  the  new  nature  these  things  are  life  and 
strength,  health  and  gladness.  Look  upon  them  in 
this  light;  believe  in  the  power  of  the  new  nature 
within,  and  act  upon  it;  though  you  do  not  feel 

Ii6  The  Inner  Chamber 

it,  it  will  come  true.     Count  it  a  joy,  and  it  will 
become  a  joy  to  you. 

Above  all,  realise  that  the  world  is  needing  you 
and  depending  on  you  to  be  its  light.  Christ  is 
waiting  for  you  as  a  member  of  His  body,  day  by 
day,  to  do  His  saving  work  through  you.  Neither 
he,  nor  the  world,  nor  you,  can  afford  to  lose  a 
single  day.  God  has  created  and  redeemed  you, 
that  through  you  He  may,  as  unceasingly  as 
through  the  sun  He  lightens  the  world,  let  His 
light  and  life  and  love  shine  out  upon  men.  You 
need  every  day  anew  to  be  in  communication  with 
the  fountain  of  all  light.  Bo  not  think  of  asking 
for  a  holiday  relief  from  this  intercourse.  Still 
less  Take  it.  Prize  the  holiday  for  the  special 
time  it  gives  you  to  study  what  lay  outside  your 
ordinary  Bible  study  course.  Prize  your  holiday 
for  the  special  opportunity  of  more  fellowship 
with  the  Father  and  the  Son.  Instead  of  its 
becoming  a  snare,  instead  of  all  your  energy  being 
exhausted  in  just  being  kept  from  losing  ground, 
prize  the  holiday  as  a  blessed  time  for  grace  and 
victory  over  self  and  the  world,  of  great  increase 
of  grace  and  strength,  of  being  blessed  and  made 
a  blessing. 



"  Ye  fools,  did  not  He  that  made  that  which  is  with- 
out make  that  which  is  within  also." — Luke  xi.  40. 

Every  spirit  seeks  to  create  for  itself  a  form  or 
shape  in  which  its  life  is  embodied.  The  outward 
is  the  visible  expression  of  the  hidden  inward  life. 
The  outward  is  generally  known  before  the  inward ; 
through  it  the  inward  is  developed  and  reaches  its 
full  perfection,  as  the  apostle  says  in  1  Cor.  xv. 
46.  "  Howbeit  that  is  not  first  which  is  spiritual 
but  which  is  natural,  then  that  which  is  spiritual." 
To  understand  and  maintain  the  right  relation 
between  the  inward  and  the  outward  is  one  of  the 
greatest  secrets  of  the  Christian  life. 

If  Adam  in  paradise  had  not  listened  to  the 
tempter,  his  trial  would  have  resulted  in  the  per- 
fecting of  his  inward  life.  It  was  his  sin  and  his 
ruin,  and  the  cause  of  all  his  misery,  that  he  gave 
himself  up  to  the  power  of  the  visible  outward 
world.  Instead  of  seeking  his  happiness  in  the 
hidden  inward  life  of  a  heart  in  which  God^s  com- 
mand was  honoured,  in  the  inward  dispositions  of 
love  and  faith,  of  obedience  and  dependence,  he 
fixed  his  desire  on  the  world  without  him,  on  the 

Il8  The  Inner  Chamber 

pleasure  and  the  knowledge  of  good  and  evil  that 
it  could  give  him. 

All  false  religion,  from  the  most  degrading 
idolatry  to  the  corruption  of  Judaism  and  Chris- 
tianity, has  its  root  in  this,  that  what  is  outward, 
what  can  please  the  eye,  or  interest  the  mind,  or 
gratify  the  taste,  takes  the  place  of  that  truth  in 
the  inward  part,  that  hidden  wisdom  in  the  heart 
and  life  which  God  seeks  and  gives. 

The  great  mark  of  the  New  Testament  is  that 
it  is  a  dispensation  of  the  inner  life.  The  promise 
of  the  new  covenant  is :  "I  will  put  My  law  in 
Their  Inward  Parts  and  in  Their  Hearts  will 
I  write  it.^'  "A  new  heart  also  will  I  give  you  and 
a  new  spirit  will  I  put  Within  You  and  I  will 
put  my  Spirit  Within  You.''  The  promise  of 
our  Lord  Jesus  was  "  The  Spirit  of  truth  Shall 
Be  in  You.  In  that  day  ye  shall  know  that  I  Am 
IN  You.^'  It  is  in  the  state  of  heart  that  religion 
consists,  in  a  heart  into  which  God  hath  sent  forth 
the  Spirit  of  His  Son,  a  heart  in  which  the  love 
of  God  is  shed  abroad,  that  true  salvation  is  found. 
The  inner  chamber,  with  its  secret  intercourse  with 
the  Father,  who  seeth  in  secret,  is  the  symbol  and 
the  training  school  of  the  inner  life.  The  true 
and  faithful  daily  use  of  the  inner  chamber 
will  make  the  inner  hidden  life  strong  and 

In  all  our  religion  the  great  danger  is  giving 
more  time  and  interest  to  the  outward  means  than 
the  inward  reality.    It  is  not  the  intensity  of  your 

The  Inward  and  the  Outward  119 

Bible  study,  it  is  not  the  frequency  or  the  fervency 
of  your  prayers  or  good  works,  that  necessarily 
constitutes  a  true  spiritual  life.  Xo!  what  we 
need  is,  to  realise  that,  as  God  is  a  Spirit,  so  there 
is  a  spirit  within  us  that  can  know  and  receive 
Him  and  become  conformed  to  His  likeness,  and 
be  partaker  of  the  very  dispositions  that  animate 
Him  as  God  in  His  goodness  and  love. 

"  Firmly  settle  this  in  thy  mind,  that  all  our 
salvation  consists  in  the  manifestation  of  the 
nature,  life  and  spirit  of  Christ  Jesus  in  our  out- 
ward and  inward  new  man.  This  alone  renews 
and  regains  the  first  life  of  God  in  the  soul  of  man. 
Wherever  thou  goest,  whatever  thou  doest,  at  home 
or  abroad  in  the  field,  do  all  in  a  desire  of  union 
with  Christ,  in  imitation  of  His  tempers  and  in- 
clinations, and  long  for  nothing,  desire  nothing 
so  much,  as  that  which  exercises  and  increases  the 
spirit  and  life  of  Christ  in  thy  soul,  and  to  have 
all  within  thee  changed  into  the  temper  and  spirit 
of  the  holy  Jesus. 

Consider  the  treasure  thou  hast  within  thee,  the 
Saviour  of  the  world,  the  eternal  Word  of  God, 
hid  in  thy  heart  as  a  seed  of  the  Divine  Nature 
which  is  to  overcome  sin  and  death  within  thee, 
and  generate  the  life  of  heaven  again  in  thy 

Turn  to  thy  heart,  and  thy  heart  will  find  its 
Saviour,  its  God,  within  itself.  Thou  seest  and 
feelest  nothing  of  God,  because  thou  seekest  for 
Him  abroad,  in  books,  in  the  church,  in  outward 

120  The  Inner  Chamber 

exercises;  but  there  thou  wilt  not  find  Him  till 
thou  hast  first  found  Him  in  thy  heart.  Seek  for 
Him  in  thy  heart  and  thou  wilt  never  seek  in  vain, 
for  there  He  dwells,  there  is  the  seat  of  His  light 
and  Holy  Spirit  P^ 



"Though  our  outward  man  perish,  yet  the  inward 
man  is  renewed  day  by  day." — 2  Cob.  iv.  16. 

"  According  to  His  mercy  He  saved  us  by  the  wash- 
ing of  regeneration,  and  renewing  of  the  Holy 
Ghost."— 1  Tit.  iii.  5. 

With  every  new  day  the  life  of  nature  is  renewed. 

As  the  sun  rises  again  with  its  light  and  warmth, 

the  flowers  open,  and  the  hirds  sing,  and  life  is 

everywhere  stirred  and  strengthened.    As  we  rise 

from  the  rest  o.f  sleep  and  partake  of  our  morning 

food,  we  feel  that  we  have  gathered  new  strength 

for  the  duties  of  the  day.    The  inner  chamber  is 

the  standing  confession  of  the  Need  Our  Inward 

Life  Has  of  Daily  Kenewal  too.    It  is  only  by  ■, 

fresh  nourishment  from  God's  Word,  and  fresh 

intercourse  with  God  Himself  in  prayer,  that  the 

vigour  of  the  spiritual  life  can  be  maintained  and    ^ii^  -ot  c^v^ 

grow.     Though  our  outward  man  perish,  though    ;,Hf'v-.  <  .*i 

the  burden  of  sickness  or  suffering,  the  strain  of  ^ 

work  and  weariness  may  exhaust  or  enfeeble  us,'^  ' 

the  inward  man  can  be  renewed  day  by  day. 

A  quiet  time  and  place,  with  the  Word  and 
prayer,  are  the  means  of  the  renewal.  But  only  this 
when  as  means  they  are  animated  by  the  divine 
power  which  works  through  them.   That  power  is 


122  The  Inner  Chamber 

— the  Holy  Spirit,  the  mighty  power  of  God  that 
worketh  in  us.  Our  study  of  the  inner  chamber 
and  the  inner  life  it  represents,  would  be  defective 
if  we  did  not  give  its  due  place  to  the  daily  re- 
newal of  the  inward  man,  which  it  is  the  function 
of  the  blessed  Spirit  ever  to  work.  In  the  text 
from  Titus  we  are  taught  that  we  have  been  "  saved 
by  the  washing  of  regeneration  and  Eenew- 
ING  OF  THE  Holy  Ghost/'  The  two  expressions 
are  not  meant  to  be  a  repetition.  The  regeneration 
,is  one  great  act,  the  beginning  of  the  Christian 
(life;  the  renewing  of  the  Holy  Ghost  is  a  work 
,'that  is  carried  on  continuously  and  never  ends. 
In  Eomans  xii.  2  we  read  of  the  progressive 
transformation  of  the  Christian  life,  that  it  is 
by  "  THE  Eenewing  op  the  Mind.''  -  In  Ephe- 
sians  iv.  23,  while  the  word  "put  off  the  old 
man"  (in  the  aorist)  indicates  an  act  done  once 
for  all,  the  word,  "Be  Renewed  in  the  Spirit 
OF  Your  Mind"  is  in  the  present  tense, 
and  points  to  a  progressive  work.  Even  so  in 
Colossians  iii.  10  we  read,  "ye  have  put  on  the 
new  man,  which  is  renewed  [not,  has  been]  in  the 
image  of  Him  that  created  him.^'  It  is  the  blessed 
Spirit  to  whom  we  are  to  look,  on  whom  we 
can  count,  for  the  daily  renewal  of  the  inner  man 
in  the  inner  chamber. 

Everything  depends,  in  our  secret  devotions, 
upon  our  maintaining  the  true  relation  to  the  ador- 
able third  person  of  the  blessed  Trinity,  through 
Whom  alone  the  Father  and  the  Son  can  do  their 

The  Daily  Renewal — Its  Power         123 

work  of  saving  love,  through  Whom  alone  the 
Christian  can  do  his  work.  That  relation  may  be 
expressed  in  the  two  very  simple  words,  faith  and 

Faith.  Scripture  says,  "  God  hath  sent  forth  the 
Spirit  of  His  Son  into  your  hearts,  crying,  Abba, 
Father.^'  The  child  of  God,  the  very  feeblest,  who 
would  in  his  morning  devotion  offer  up  prayer, 
that  shall  be  pleasing  to  the  Father,  and  be  a 
blessing  to  himself,  must  remember  that  he  has  re- 
ceived the  Holy  Spirit  as  the  spirit  of  prayer, 
and  that  His  help  is  indispensable  to  enable  us 
to  pray  effectually.  Even  so  with  the  Word  of  God. 
It  is  by  the  Holy  Spirit  alone  that  the  truth  in  its 
divine  meaning  and  power  can  be  revealed  to  us, 
and  do  its  work  in  our  heart.  If  the  daily  renewal 
of  the  inward  man  in  the  morning  hour  is  to  be  a 
reality,  take  time  to  meditate,  and  to  worship,  and 
to  believe  with  your  whole  heart  that  the  Holy 
Spirit  has  been  given  you,  that  He  is  within  you, 
and  that  through  Him  God  will  work  the  bless- 
ing which  He  gives  through  prayer  and  the  Word. 

Surrender.  Do  not  forget  that  the  Holy  Spirit 
must  have  entire  control.  "  As  many  as  are  Led  by 
THE  Spirit  of  God  they  are  the  sons  of  God.  They 
Walk  after  the  Spirit,  not  after  the  flesh.^^  It  is 
the  ungrieved  presence  of  the  Spirit  that  can  give 
the  Word  its  light  and  power,  and  keep  us  in  that 
blessed  life  of  child-like  confidence  and  child-like 
obedience  which  is  well  pleasing  to  God.  Let  us 
praise   God  for  this  wonderful  gift,  the  Holy  Spirit 

124  The  Inner  Chamber 

in  His  renewing  power,  and  let  ns  look  with  new 
joy  and  hope  to  the  inner  chamber  as  the  place 
where  the  inner  man  can  indeed  be  renewed  from 
day  to  day.  So  shall  life  be  kept  ever  fresh; 
so  shall  we  go  on  from  strength  to  strength,  so 
shall  we  bear  much  fruit,  that  the  Father  may  be 

If  all  this  be  true,  what  need  that  we  know  the 
Holy  Spirit  aright.  As  the  Third  Person,  it  is  His 
office  and  work  to  bring  the  life  of  God  unto  us,  to 
hide  Himself  in  the  depth  of  our  being  and  make 
Himself  one  with  us,  to  reveal  there  the  Father 
and  the  Son,  to  be  the  mighty  Power  of  God  work- 
ing in  us,  and  to  take  control  of  our  entire  being. 
He  asks  but  one  thing, — simple  obedience  to  His 
leading.  The  truly  yielded  soul  will  find  in  the 
daily  renewing  of  the  Holy  Ghost  the  secret  of 
growth  and  strength  and  joy. 



"  Seeing  that  ye  have  .  .  .  put  on  the  new  man, 
which  is  being  renewed  unto  knowledge  after  the 
Image  of  Him  that  created  him." — Col.  iii.  9,  10. 

"  If  so  be  that  ye  heard  Him  and  were  taught  in 
Him  .  .  .  that  ye  be  renewed  in  the  spirit  of  your 
mind,  and  put  on  the  new  man,  which  after  God  hath 
been  created  in  righteousness  and  holiness  of  truth." — 
Eph.  iv.  21,  23,  24. 

In  every  pursuit  it  is  of  consequence  to  have 
the  goal  clearly  defined.  It  is  not  enough  that 
there  be  movement  and  progress,  we  want  to  know 
w^hether  the  movement  be  in  the  right  direction, 
straight  for  the  mark ;  and  especially  when  we  are 
acting  in  partnership  with  another,  on  whom  we 
are  dependent,  do  we  need  to  know  that  our  aim 
and  his  are  in  perfect  accord.  If  our  daily  re- 
newal is  to  attain  its  object  we  need  to  know 
clearly,  and  hold  firmly  to  what  its  purpose  is. 

"  Ye  have  put  on  the  new  man,  which  is  being 
renewed  unto  knowledge."  The  Divine  life,  the 
work  of  the  Holy  Spirit  within  us,  is  no  blind 
force,  as  in  nature.  We  are  to  be  workers  together 
with  God ;  our  co-operation  is  to  be  intelligent  and 
voluntary,  "  The  new  man  is  being  renewed  day  by 
day  UNTO  Knowledge.""    There  is  a  knowledge 


126  The  Inner  Chamber 

which  the  natural  understanding  can  draw  from 
the  Word,  but  which  is  without  life  and  the 
power,  the  real  truth  and  substance,  which  the 
spiritual  knowledge  brings.  It  is  the  renewing  of 
the  Holy  Ghost  that  gives  the  true  knowledge, 
which  does  not  consist  in  thought  and  conception, 
but  in  an  inward  tasting,  a  living  reception  of 
the  very  things  themselves  of  which  the  words 
and  thoughts  are  but  the  images.  *^  The  new 
man  is  being  renewed  unto  knowledge.^'  How- 
ever diligent  our  Bible  study  may  be,  there  is 
no  true  knowledge  gained  any  farther  than  the 
spiritual  renewal  is  being  experienced;  "the  re- 
newal in  the  spirit  of  the  mind,"  in  its  life  and 
inward  being,  alone  brings  true  Divine  knowledge. 

And  what  is  now  the  pattern  that  will  be  re- 
vealed to  this  spiritual  knowledge  which  comes  out 
of  the  renewal  as  its  true  and  only  aim  ?  The  new 
man  is  being  renewed  unto  knowledge,  after  the 
Image  of  Him  That  Created  Him  Nothing 
less  than  the  image,  the  likeness  of  God.  That  is 
the  one  aim  of  the  Holy  Spirit  in  His  daily  re- 
newing ;  that  must  be  the  aim  of  the  believer  who 
seeks  that  renewing. 

This  was  God's  purpose  in  creation,  "Let  us 
make  man  in  our  image,  after  our  likeness."  How 
little  the  infinite  glory  of  these  words  is  consid- 
ered. For  nothing  less  than  this,  did  God  breathe 
His  own  life  into  man,  that  it  might  reproduce  in 
man  on  earth  a  perfect  likeness  to  God  in  heaven. 
Jn  Christ,  that  image  of  God  has  been  revealed 

The  Daily  Renewal — The  Pattern       127 

and  seen  in  human  form.  "We  have  been  predes- 
tined and  redeemed  and  called,  we  are  being 
taught  and  fitted  by  the  Holy  Spirit,  to  be  con- 
formed to  the  image  of  the  Son,  to  be  imitators 
of  God,  and  to  walk  even  as  Christ  walked.  How 
can  the  daily  renewal  be  carried  on,  what  can 
the  daily  Bible  study  and  prayer  profit,  unless 
we  set  our  heart  on  what  God  has  set  His  on, — 
THE  New  Man  Being  Renewed  Day  by  Day 


In  the  second  passage,  we  have  the  same  thought 
expressed  somewhat  differently.  Be  renewed  in 
the  spirit  of  your  mind,  and  put  on  the  new  man, 
which  AFTER  GoD^  according  to  the  likeness  of  God, 
hath  been  created  in  righteousness  and  holiness  of 
truth.  Righteousness  is  God's  hatred  of  sin,  and 
maintenance  of  the  right.  Holiness  is  God's  in- 
effable glory,  in  the  perfect  harmony  of  His  right- 
eousness and  love.  His  infinite  exaltation  above 
the  creature.  His  perfect  union  with  him.  Right- 
eousness in  man  includes  all  God's  will  for  our 
duty  to  Him  or  our  fellowmen:  holiness  our  per- 
sonal relation  to  Himself.  As  the  new  man  has 
been  created,  so  it  has  daily  to  be  renewed,  "  after 
God  in  righteousness  and  holiness  of  truth.''  It 
is  to  secure  this  that  the  power  of  the  Holy  Ghost 
is  working  in  us.  It  is  to  secure  this  that  He  waits 
for  us  day  by  day  to  yield  ourselves  to  Him,  in 
His  renewing  grace  and  power. 

The  daily  returning  morning  hour  is  the  time 
for  securing  the  daily  renewing  of  the  Holy  Ghost 

128  The  Inner  Chamber 

into  the  image  of  God  as  righteousness  and  holi- 
ness of  truth.  What  need  of  meditation  and  prayer 
to  get  the  heart  set  upon  what  God  is  aiming  at, 
and  get  a  true  vision  of  the  wondrous  possibility: 
the  inward  man  renewed  day  by  day  into  the  very 
likeness  of  God,  changed  into  the  same  image  as 
by  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord.  Christian  student !  let 
nothing  less  be  thy  aim,  or  satisfy  thine  aspira- 
tions. The  image  of  God,  the  life  of  God  is  in 
thee.  His  likeness  can  be  seen  in  thee.  Separate  no 
longer  God  and  His  likeness,  let  everyone  approach 
to  Him,  let  all  trust  in  Him,  mean  nothing  less 
than  finding  Him,  in  His  likeness  wrought  into 
thee  by  the  renewing  of  the  Holy  Spirit. 

Let  this  be  thy  daily  prayer,  to  be  renewed  after 
the  image  of  Him  who  created  thee. 



"  Wherefore  we  faint  not ;  but  though  our  outward 
man  is  decaying,  yet  our  inward  man  is  renewed  day 
by  day."— 2  Cob.  iv.  16. 

"  Be  not  fashioned  according  to  this  world ;  but  be 
ye  transformed  by  the  renewing  of  your  mind."— 
BoM.  xii.  2. 

It  is  not  a  little  or  an  easy  thing  to  be  a  full- 
grown,  strong  Christian.  On  God's  side,  it  means 
that  it  cost  the  Son  of  God  His  life,  that  it  needs 
the  mighty  power  of  God  to  new  create  a  man,  and 
that  nothing  less  than  the  unceasing  daily  care 
of  the  Holy  Spirit  can  maintain  that  life. 

From  man's  side  it  demands  that  when  the  new 
man  is  put  on,  the  old  man  he  put  off.  All  the  dis- 
positions, habits,  pleasures,  of  our  own  nature,  that 
make  up  the  life  in  which  we  have  lived,  are  to  be 
put  away.  All  we  have  by  our  birth  from  Adam, 
is  to  be  sold,  if  we  are  to  possess  the  pearl  of  great 
price.  If  a  man  is  to  come  after  Christ,  he  is 
to  deny  himself,  and  take  up  his  cross,  to  forsake 
all  and  follow  Christ  in  the  path  in  which  He 
walked.  He  is  to  cast  away  not  only  all  sin,  but 
everything,  however  needful  and  legitimate  and 
precious,  that  may  become  the  occasion  of  sin ;  to 
pluck  out  the  eye,  or  cut  off  the  hand.  He  is  to 

130  The  Inner  Chamber 

hate  his  own  life,  to  lose  it,  if  he  is  to  live  in  "  the 
power  of  an  endless  life."  It  is  a  solemn  thing,  far 
more  solemn  than  most  people  think,  to  be  a  true 

This  is  specially  true  of  the  daily  renewing  of 
the  inward  man.  Paul  speaks  of  it  as  being  ac- 
companied and  conditioned  by  the  decaying  of 
the  outward  man.  The  whole  epistle  (2  Cor.) 
shows  us  how  the  fellowship  of  the  sufferings  of 
Christ,  even  to  conformity  to  His  death,  was  the 
secret  of  his  life  in  power  and  blessing  to  the 
Churches.  ^^  Always  bearing  about  in  the  body  the 
dying  of  Jesus,  that  the  life  also  of  Jesus  may  be 
manifested  in  our  body.  For  we  which  live  are 
always  delivered  unto  death  for  Jesus'  sake,  that 
the  life  also  of  Jesus  may  be  manifested  in  our 
mortal  flesh.  So  then  death  worketh  in  us,  but 
life  in  you.''  The  full  experience  of  the  life  in 
Christ  in  our  person,  our  body,  our  work  for 
others,  depends  upon  our  fellowship  in  His  suf- 
fering and  death.  There  can  be  no  large  measure 
of  the  renewal  of  the  inward  man,  without  the 
sacrifice,  the  decaying  of  the  outward. 

To  be  filled  with  heaven,  the  life  must  be  emp- 
tied of  earth.  We  have  the  same  truth  in  our  sec- 
ond text,  "  Be  ye  transformed  in  the  renewing  of 
your  mind."  An  old  house  may  be  renewed,  and 
yet  keep  very  much  of  its  old  appearance;  or  the 
renewal  may  be  so  entire  that  men  exclaim  what  a 
transformation!  The  renewing  of  the  mind  by 
the  Holy  Spirit  means  an  entire  transfornaation, 

The  Daily  Renewal — Its  Cost  131 

an  entirely  different  way  of  thinking,  judging,  de- 
ciding. The  fleshly  mind  gives  place  to  a  "  spirit- 
ual understanding ''  (Col.  i.  9 ;  1  Jolin  v.  20).  This 
transformation  is  not  obtained  but  at  the  cost  of 
giving  up  all  that  is  of  nature.  "  Be  not  fashioned 
according  to  this  world,  but  be  ye  transformed." 
By  nature  we  are  of  this  world.  When  renewed  by 
grace  we  are  still  in  the  world,  subject  to  the 
subtle  all-pervading  influence  from  which  we 
cannot  withdraw  ourselves.  And  what  is  more, 
the  world  is  still  in  us,  as  the  leaven  of  the  nature 
which  nothing  can  purge  out  but  the  mighty 
power  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  filling  us  with  the  life 
of  heaven. 

Let  us  allow  these  truths  to  take  deep  hold 
and  master  us.  The  Divine  transformation,  by 
the  daily  renewing  of  our  mind  into  the  image  of 
Him  who  is  far  above,  can  proceed  in  us  no 
faster  and  no  farther  than  our  seeking  to  be  freed 
from  every  vestige  of  conformity  to  this  world. 
The  negative,  "  Be  not  fashioned  according  to  this 
world,^'  needs  to  be  emphasised  as  strongly  as  the 
positive,  "  be  ye  transformed."  The  spirit  of  this 
world  and  the  Spirit  of  God  contend  for  the  pos- 
session of  our  being.  Only  as  the  former  is  known 
and  renounced  and  cast  out,  can  the  heavenly 
Spirit  enter  in,  and  do  His  blessed  work  of  renew- 
ing and  transforming.  The  whole  world  and 
whatever  is  of  the  wordly  spirit,  must  be  given  up. 
The  whole  life  and  whatever  is  of  self  must  be 
lost.    This  daily  renewal  of  the  inward  man  costs 

132  The  Inner  Chamber 

much,  that  is,  as  long  as  we  are  hesitating,  or  try- 
ing to  do  it  in  our  own  strength.  When  once  we 
really  learn  that  the  Holy  Spirit  does  all,  and  in 
the  faith  of  the  strength  of  the  Lord  Jesus  have 
given  up  all,  the  renewing  becomes  the  simple, 
natural,  healthy,  joyous  growth  of  the  heavenly 
life  in  us. 

The  inner  chamber  then  becomes  the  place  for 
which  we  long  daily,  to  praise  God  for  what  He 
has  done,  and  is  doing,  and  what  we  know  He  will 
do.  Day  by  day,  we  yield  ourselves  afresh  to  the 
blessed  Lord  who  has  said,  "  He  that  believeth  on 
Me  out  of  him  shall  flow  rivers  of  living  water/' 
"  The  renewing  of  the  Holy  Ghost "  becomes  one 
of  the  most  blessed  verities  of  our  daily  Christian 


"Sanctify  them  in  Thy  truth,  Thy  Word  is  Truth," 

In  his  great  intercessory  prayer  our  Lord  spoke 
of  the  words  which  the  Father  had  given  Him, 
of  His  own  giving  them  to  His  disciples,  and  of 
their  having  received  and  believed  them.  It 
was  this  that  made  them  disciples.  It  was  their 
keeping  these  words  that  would  really  enable  them 
to  live  the  life  and  do  the  work  of  true  disciples. 
Eeceiving  the  ^Toeds  of  God  from  Christ 
AND  Keeping  Them,  the  Mark  and  Power  of 
True  Discipleship. 

In  praying  the  Father  to  keep  them  in  the  world 
when  he  had  left  it,  our  Lord  asks  that  He  would 
sanctify  them  in  the  truth,  as  it  dwells  and  works 
in  His  word.  Christ  had  said  of  Himself,  "  I  am 
the  truth.''  He  was  the  only  begotten  of  the 
Father,  full  of  grace  and  truth.  His  teaching  was 
not  like  that  of  the  law  which  came  by  Moses, 
giving  a  knowledge,  a  promise  of  good  things 
to  come  which  was  but  an  image  or  a  shadow. 
"  The  words  I  speak  unto  you  are  spirit  and 
life,"  giving  the  very  substance  and  power  and 
Divine  possession  of  what  they  speak  of.  Christ 
had  spoken  of  the  Spirit  as  the  Spirit  of  truth 

134  The  Inner  Chamber 

who  would  lead  into  all  the  truth  that  there  was 
in  Himself,  not  as  a  matter  of  knowledge  or  doc- 
trine, but  into  its  actual  experience  and  enjoyment. 
And  then  He  prays  that  in  this  living  truth,  as  it 
dwells  in  the  Word,  and  is  revealed  in  Him  by  the 
Spirit,  and  the  Father  would  sanctify  them.  "  For 
their  sakes,"  He  says,  "I  sanctify  Myself  that 
they  themselves  may  also  be  sanctified  in  truth." 
And  He  asks  the  Father  in  His  power  and  love 
to  take  charge  of  them,  that  His  object — to 
sanctify  them  in  the  truth,  through  His  word 
which  is  truth — may  be  realised,  that  they,  like 
Himself,  may  be  sanctified  in  truth.  Let  us 
study  the  wonderful  lessons  here  given  in  regard 
to  God's  word. 

*'  Sanctify  them  in  Thy  truth,  Thy  word  is 
truth."  The  Great  Object  of  God's  Word  Is 
TO  Make  us  Holy.  No  diligence  or  success  in 
Bible  study  will  really  profit  us  unless  it  makes 
us  humbler,  holier  men.  In  all  our  use  of  Holy 
Scripture  this  must  be  definitely  our  main  ob- 
ject. The  reason  there  is  often  so  much  Bible 
reading  with  so  little  real  result  in  a  Christ-like 
character,  is  that  "salvation,  through  sanctifi- 
cation  of  the  Spirit  and  belief  of  the  truth,"  is 
not  truly  sought.  People  imagine  that  if  they 
study  the  Word  and  accept  its  truths,  this  will 
in  some  way,  of  itself,  benefit  them.  But  experi- 
ence teaches  that  it  does  not.  The  fruit  of  holy 
character,  of  consecrated  life,  of  power  to  bless 
others,  does  not  come,  for  the  simple  and  most 

Holiness — The  Chief  Aim  of  Bible  Study    135 

natural  reason  that  we  only  get  what  we  seek. 
Christ  gave  us  God's  Word  to  make  us  holy,  it 
is  only  when  we  make  this  our  definite  aim  in 
all  Bible  study,  that  the  truth,  not  the  doctrinal 
truth,  but  its  Divine  quickening  power,  impart- 
ing the  very  life  of  God,  that  it  contains  as  a  seed, 
can  open  and  impart  itself  to  us. 

"  Sanctify  them  in  Thy  truth.  Thy  word  is 
truth.''  It  is  God  Himself  Who  alone  Can 
Make  us  Holy  by  His  Word.  The  word,  sepa- 
rate from  God  and  His  direct  operation,  cannot 
avail.  The  word  is  an  instrument:  God  Himself 
must  use  it.  God  is  the  alone  Holy  One.  He 
alone  can  make  holy.  The  unspeakable  value  of 
God's  word  is  that  it  is  God's  means  of  holiness. 
The  terrible  mistake  of  many  is  that  they  forget 
that  God  alone  can  use  it  or  make  it  effectual. 
It  is  not  enough  that  I  have  access  to  the  dis- 
pensary of  a  physician.  I  need  him  to  pre- 
scribe. Without  him  my  use  of  his  medicines 
might  be  fatal.  It  was  so  with  the  scribes. 
They  made  their  boast  of  God's  law;  they 
delighted  in  their  study  of  Scripture  and  yet 
remained  unsanctified.  The  word  did  not  sanctify 
them,  because  they  did  not  seek  for  this  in  the 
word,  and  did  not  yield  to  God  to  do  it  for  them. 

"  Sanctify  them  in  Thy  truth.  Thy  word  is 
truth."  This  Holiness  Through  the  Word 
Must  Be  Sought  and  Waited  for  from  God  in 
Prayer.  Our  Lord  not  only  taught  His  disciples 
that  they  must  be  holy;  He  not  only  sanctified 

136  The  Inner  Chamber 

Himself  for  them,  that  they  miglit  "be  sancti- 
fied in  truth,  but  He  brought  His  words  and  His 
work  to  the  Father  with  the  Prayer  That  He 
Would  Sanctify  Them.  It  is  most  needful  to 
know  God's  word  and  meditate  on  it.  It  is  most 
needful  to  set  our  heart  upon  being  holy,  as  our 
first  and  chief  object  in  studying  the  Word.  But 
all  this  is  not  enough;  everything  depends  upon 
our  following  Christ  in  asking  the  Father  to 
sanctify  us  through  the  Word.  It  Is  God^  the 
Holt  Father,  Who  Makes  Us  Holy,  by  the 
Spirit  of  holiness  who  dwells  in  us.  He 
works  in  us  the  very  mind  and  disposition  of 
Christ  who  is  our  sanctification.  "There  is 
none  holy  but  the  Lord'';  all  holiness  is  His 
and  what  He  gives  by  His  holy  Presence. 
The  tabernacle  and  temple  were  not  holy  in  virtue 
of  cleansing,  or  separation  or  consecration.  They 
became  holy  by  the  incoming  and  indwelling  God. 
His  taking  possession  made  them  holy.  God  even 
so  makes  us  holy  through  His  word  bringing 
Christ  and  the  Holy  Spirit  into  us.  And  the 
Father  cannot  do  this  except  as  we  tarry  before 
Him,  and  are  still,  and  in  deep  dependence  and 
full  surrender  give  ourselves  up  to  Him.  It  is  in 
the  prayer  offered  in  the  Name,  and  the  fellow- 
ship, and  the  faith  of  the  Great  Intercessor — 
"Sanctify  me  through  Thy  truth,  Thy  word  is 
truth,"  that  the  Father's  sanctifying  power  will 
be  found,  and  our  knowledge  of  God's  word  truly 
make  us  holy. 

Holiness — The  Chief  Aim  of  Bible  Study     137 

How  sacred  the  Morning  Watch!  The  hour 
specially  devoted  to  the  Soul's  yielding  itself  up 
to  God's  holiness,  to  be  sanctified  through  the 
Word.  Let  us  ever  remember,  the  one  aim  of 
God's  word  is  to  make  us  holy.  Let  it  be  our 
continual  prayer  "Father,  sanctify  me  in  Thy 



"Oh  how  love  I  Thy  law;  it  is  my  meditation  all 
the  day.  Consider  how  I  love  Thy  precepts.  Yea,  I 
love  them  exceedingly." 

In  Holy  Scripture  there  is  one  portion  wholly  de- 
voted to  teaching  us  the  place  which  God^s  Word 
ought  to  have  in  our  esteem,  and  the  way  we  can 
secure  its  blessing.  It  is  the  longest  chapter  in  the 
Bible,  and,  with  hardly  an  exception,  in  every  one 
of  its  176  verses,  we  have,  under  different  names, 
mention  made  of  the  Word.  Anyone  who  really 
wants  to  know  how  to  study  his  Bible  according  to 
God^s  will,  ought  to  make  a  careful  study  of  this 
Psalm.  There  ought  to  come  a  time  in  his  life 
when  he  resolves  to  study  its  teaching  and  carry  it 
out  into  practice.  How  can  we  wonder  that  our 
Bible  study  does  not  bring  more  spiritual  profit 
and  strength,  if  we  neglect  the  Divine  Directory 
it  offers  us  for  that  study.  It  is  possible  you  have 
never  read  it  once  through  as  a  whole.  If  you 
have  not  time,  find  time,  some  free  Sabbath  hour — 
or  why  not  some  free  week  day  hour  ? — in  which 
you  read  it  through  and  try  to  take  in  its  chief 
thought,  or  at  least  to  catch  its  spirit.  If  you 
find  it  difficult  to  do  this  by  reading  it  once,  read 

Psalm  cxix  and  Its  Teaching  139 

it  more  than  once.  This  will  make  you  feel  the 
need  of  giving  it  more  careful  thought.  The  fol- 
lowing hints  may  help  you  in  its  study : — 

1st.  Note  all  the  different  names  under  which 
God's  Word  is  spoken  of. 

2nd.  Note  all  the  different  verbs  expressing 
what  we  ought  to  feel  and  do  in  regard  to  the 
Word.  Let  this  lead  you  to  consider  carefully 
what  the  place  is  that  God's  word  claims  in  your 
heart  and  life,  and  how  every  faculty  of  your  be- 
ing—desire, love,  joy,  trust,  obedience,  action  is 
called  out  by  it. 

3rd.  Count  and  note  how  many  times  the 
writer  speaks  in  the  past  tense  of  his  having  kept, 
observed,  stuck  to,  delighted  in  God's  testimonies. 
How  many  times  he  expresses  in  the  present  tense 
how  he  rejoices  in,  loves,  and  esteems  God's  law. 
And  then  how,  in  the  future  tense,  he  promises 
and  vows  to  observe  God's  precepts  to  the  end. 
Put  all  these  together  and  see  how  more  than  a 
hundred  times  he  presents  his  soul  before  God  as 
one  who  honours  and  keeps  His  law.  Study  this 
especially  as  these  expressions  are  connected  with 
his  prayers  to  God,  until  you  have  a  clear 
image  of  the  righteous  man  whose  fervent,  effec- 
tual prayer  availeth  much. 

4th.  Study  then  the  prayers  themselves  and 
note  down  the  different  requests  he  makes  with  re- 
gard to  the  Word,  whether  for  the  teaching  to  un- 
derstand and  the  power  to  observe  it,  or  for  the 
blessing  promised  in  the  Word,  and  to  be  found 

I40  The  Inner  Chamber 

in  doing  it.  Note  especially  prayers  like  "  Teach 
me  Thy  statutes/'  "  Give  me  understanding."  Also 
those  where  the  plea  is  "  according  to  Thy  Word.'' 

5th.  Count  the  verses  in  which  there  is  any 
allusion  to  affliction,  whether  from  his  own  state 
or  from  his  enemies,  or  the  sins  of  the  wicked  or 
God  delaying  "  to  help  him  " ;  and  learn  how  it  is 
in  the  time  of  trouble  that  we  need  God's  Word 
specially,  and  that  this  alone  can  bring  comfort 
to  us. 

6th.  Then  comes  one  of  the  most  important 
things.  Mark  how  often  the  little  pronoun  Thou, 
Thine,  Thee,  occurs,  and  how  often  it  is  under- 
stood in  every  petition,  "  Teach  Thou  me, " 
"  Quicken  Thou  me,"  and  you  will  see  how  the 
whole  psalm  is  a  prayer  spoken  to  God.  All  the 
Psalmist  has  to  say  about  the  Word  of  God, 
whether  with  regard  to  his  own  attachment  to  it, 
or  his  need  of  God's  teaching  and  quickening,  is 
spoken  upwards  into  the  face  of  God.  He  be- 
lieves that  it  is  pleasing  to  God  and  good  for  his 
own  soul,  to  connect  his  meditation  and  thoughts 
on  the  Word,  as  continually  and  as  closely  as  possi- 
ble, by  prayer,  with  the  living  God  Himself. 
Every  thought  of  God's  Word,  instead  of  drawing 
him  off  from  God,  leads  him  to  fellowship  with 

The  word  of  God  becomes  to  him  the  rich  and 
inexhaustible  material  for  holding  communion 
with  the  God  Whose  it  is  and  to  Whom  it  is  meant 
to  lead.    As  we  gradually  get  an  insight  into  these 

Psalm  cxix  and  Its  Teaching  141 

truths  we  shall  get  a  new  meaning  from  the  single 
verses.  And  when,  from  time  to  time,  we  take  a 
whole  paragraph  with  its  eight  verses,  we  shall 
find  how  they  help  to  lift  us  up,  with  and  through 
the  word,  into  God^s  presence,  and  into  that  life 
of  obedience  and  joy  which  says,  "  I  have  sworn, 
and  will  perform  it,  that  I  will  keep  Thy  right- 
eous judgment/'  "  Oh  how  I  love  Thy  law ;  it  is 
my  meditation  all  the  day/' 

Let  us  seek  by  the  grace  of  the  Holy  Spirit  to 
have  the  devotional  life,  which  this  Psalm  reveals, 
wrought  into  our  morning  watch.  Let  GoD^s 
Word  every  day,  and  before  everything  else,  Lead 
IJs  TO  God.  Let  every  blessing  in  it  be  a  matter 
of  prayer,  very  specially  our  need  of  Divine  teach- 
ing. Let  our  intense  attachment  to  it  be  our  child- 
like plea  and  confidence  that  the  Father  will 
help  us.  Let  our  prayers  be  followed  by  the  vow 
that  as  God  quickens  and  blesses  us,  we  shall  run 
the  way  of  His  commandments,  and  let  all  that 
God's  word  brings  ourselves  make  us  the  more 
earnest  in  longing  to  carry  that  Word  to  others, 
whether  for  the  awakening  or  the  strengthening  of 
the  life  of  God  in  the  soul. 



"For  this  cause  I  bow  my  knees  to  the  Fatheb 
that  He  would  grant  you,  that  ye  may  be  strengthened 
with  power  theough  His  Spirit  in  the  inward  man; 
that  Christ  may  dwell  in  your  hearts  through  faith, 
to  the  end  that  ye,  being  rooted  and  grounded  in 
LtOYE,  may  be  strong  to  know  the  love  of  Christ  which 
passeth  knowledge,  that  ye  may  be  filled  unto  all  the 
fulness  of  God.  Now  unto  Him  that  is  able  to  do 
exceeding  abundantly  above  all  that  we  ask  or 
think,  according  to  the  power  that  worketh  in  us, 
(the  Holy  Spirit),  unto  Him  be  the  glory  in  Christ 
Jesus  for  ever  and  ever.    Amen." — Eph.  iii.  14t21. 

These  words  have  often,  and  not  without  good 
reason,  been  regarded  as  one  of  the  highest  ex- 
pressions of  what  the  life  of  a  believer  may  be  on 
earth.  And  yet  this  view  is  not  without  its  dan- 
gers, if  it  fosters  the  idea  that  the  attainment  of 
such  an  experience  is  to  be  regarded  as  something 
exceptional  and  distant,  and  hides  the  blessed 
truth  that,  though  in  varying  degree,  it  yei  is 
meant  to  be  the  certain  and  immediate  heritage  of 
every  child  of  God.  Each  morning  each  believer 
has  as  much  the  right  as  the  need  to  say:  My 
Father  will  strengthen  me  to-day  with  power,  is 
strengthening  me  even  now,  in  the  inner  man 
through  His  Spirit.  Each  day  we  are  to  be  con- 

The  Holy  Trinity  143 

tent  with  nothing  less  than  the  indwelling  of 
Christ  by  faith,  a  life  rooted  in  love,  and  made 
strong  to  know  the  love  of  Christ.  Each  day  we 
believe  that  the  blessed  work  of  being  filled  in 
with  all  the  ftdness  of  God  is  being  prepared  and 
carried  on  and  accomplished  in  us.  And  each  day 
we  ought  to  be  strong  in  the  faith  of  God's  power, 
and  be  giving  Him  glory  in  Christ,  as  able  to  do 
above  what  we  ask  and  think,  according  to  the 
power  of  the  Spirit  working  in  us. 

The  words  are,  among  many  other  things,  re- 
markable for  the  way  in  which  they  present  the 
truth  of  the  Holy  Trinity  in  its  bearing  on  our 
practical  life.  Many  Christians  understand  that 
it  is  right  and  needful  at  different  times  in  the 
pursuit  of  the  Christian  life,  to  give  special  at- 
tention to  the  three  Persons  of  the  Blessed 
Trinity.  They  often  feel  it  diflBcult  to  combine 
the  various  truths  into  one,  and  to  know  how  to 
worship  the  Three  in  One.  Our  text  reveals  the 
wondrous  relationship  and  the  perfect  unity.  We 
have  the  Spirit  within  us  as  the  power  of  God,  and 
yet  He  does  not  work  at  our  will  or  His  own.  It 
is  the  Father  who,  according  to  the  riches  of  His 
glory,  grants  us  to  be  strengthened  "through  the 
Spirit  in  the  inner  man.^'  It  is  the  Father  who 
does  exceeding  abundantly  above  what  we  ask  or 
think  "according  to  the  Power  that  worketh  in 
us.''  So  far  from  the  presence  of  the  Spirit  within 
us  being  to  us  instead  of  God,  He  renders  us  more 
absolutely    and    unceasingly    dependent    on    the 

144  The  Inner  Chamber 

Father.  The  Spirit  can  only  work  as  the  Father 
works  through  Him.  We  need  to  combine  the  two 
truths — a  deep  reverent,  trustful  consciousness  of 
the  Holy  Spirit  as  indwelling,  with  a  continual 
and  dependent  waiting  on  the  Father  to  work 
through  Him. 

Even  so  with  Christ.  We  bow  our  knees  to  God 
as  Father  in  the  name  of  the  Son.  We  ask  Him  to 
strengthen  us  through  the  Spirit  with  the  one 
object,  that  Christ  may  dwell  in  our  heart.  So  the 
Son  leads  to  the  Father  and  the  Father  again  re- 
veals the  Son  in  us.  And  then,  again,  as  the  Son 
dwells  in  the  heart,  and  it  is  rooted  and  grounded 
in  love,  drawing  its  life  out  of  Divine  love  as  its 
soil,  bringing  forth  fruits  and  doing  works  of 
love,  we  are  led  on  to  be  filled  with  all  the  fulness 
of  God.  The  whole  heart  with  the  inner  and  outer 
life  becomes  the  scene  of  the  blessed  interchange 
of  the  operation  of  the  Holy  Three.  As  our  hearts 
believe  this  we  give  glory  through  Christ  to  Him 
who  is  able  to  do  more  than  we  can  think  by  His 
Holy  Spirit. 

What  a  wonderful  salvation  this  of  which  our 
heart  is  the  scene;  the  Father  ever  breathing  His 
Spirit  into  us,  and  by  His  daily  renewing  fitting  it 
to  be  the  home  of  Christ ;  the  Holy  Spirit  ever  re- 
vealing and  forming  Christ  within  us,  so  that  His 
very  nature,  disposition,  and  character  becomes 
ours;  the  Son  imparting  His  life  of  love,  and 
leading  us  on  to  be  filled  with  all  the  fulness  of 

The  Holy  Trinity  145 

This  is  meant  to  be  our  everyday  religion.  Oh ! 
let  us  worship  the  Three-One  God  in  the  fulness 
of  faith  every  day.  In  whatever  direction  our 
Bible  study  and  our  prayer  lead  us,  let  this  ever 
be  the  centre  from  which  we  go  out  and  to  which 
we  return.  We  were  created  in  the  image  of  the 
Three-One  God.  The  salvation  by  which  God 
restores  us  is  an  inward  salvation;  it  is  nothing 
to  us  if  it  is  not  wrought  in  our  heart  and  en- 
joyed there.  The  God  who  saves  us  can  do  it  in 
no  other  way  than  as  the  indwelling  God,  filling 
us  with  all  His  fulness.  Let  us  worship  and  wait ; 
let  us  believe  and  give  Him  glory. 

Have  you  ever  noticed  in  Ephesians  how  the 
three  Persons  of  the  Trinity  are  ever  mentioned 

i.  3.  The  Father,  Jesus  Christ,  spiritual  or  Holy 

Ghost  blessings. 
1.  12,  13.  The  Father,  to  the  praise  of  His  Glory, 

in  Christ,  sealed  with  the  Holy  Spirit. 
i.  17.  The  Father,  Our  Lord  Jesus,  the  Spirit  of 

ii.  18.  Access  through  Christ,  in  one  Spirit,  to  the 

ii.  22.  In  Christ,  a  habitation  of  God,  through  the 

iii.  4-9.  The  mystery  of  Christ,  hid  in  God,  preached 

by  the  Grace  of  God,  revealed  by  the  Spirit. 
iv.  4-6.  One  Spirit,  One  Lord,  One  God  and  Father. 
V.  18-20.  Filled  with  the  Spirit,  giving  thanks  to 

God,  in  the  name  of  Christ. 
vi.  10-18.  Strong  in  the  Lord,  the  whole  armour  of 
God,  the  sword  of  the  Spirit,  praying  in. the 

146  The  Inner  Chamber 

As  you  study  and  compare  these  passages,  and 
seek  to  gather  up  their  teaching  in  some  true  and 
humble  conception  of  the  glory  of  our  God,  notice 
specially  what  an  intensely  practical  truth  this 
of  the  Holy  Trinity  is.  Scripture  teaches  little  of 
its  mystery  in  the  Divine  nature,  almost  all  it  has 
to  say  has  reference  to  God's  work  in  us,  and  our 
faith  and  experience  of  His  salvation. 

A  true  faith  in  the  Trinity  will  make  us  strong, 
bright,  God-possessed  Christians.  The  Divine 
Spirit  making  Himself  one  with  our  life  and 
inner  being;  the  Blessed  Son  dwelling  in  us,  as 
the  way  to  perfect  fellowship  with  God;  the 
Father,  through  the  Spirit  and  the  Son  work- 
ing out  day  by  day  His  purpose — ^that  we  be  filled 
with  all  the  fulness  of  God. 

Let  us  bow  our  knees  unto  the  Father  !  Then 
the  mystery  of  the  Trinity  will  be  known  and 


«  Abide  in  me,  and  I  in  you."— John  xv.  4. 

All  instruction  proceeds  from  the  outward  to  the 

When  some  knowledge  has  been  obtained  of  the 
actual,  in  words  or  deeds,  in  nature  or  history, 
the  mind  is  prepared  to  seek  for  the  inner  mean- 
ing hidden  in  them.  It  is  even  so  with  the  teach- 
ing of  scripture  concerning  Jesus  Christ.  He  is 
set  before  us  as  a  man  among  us,  before  us,  above 
us,  doing  a  work  for  us  here  on  earth,  continuing 
that  work  for  us  still  in  heaven.  Many  Christians 
never  advance  beyond  this,  an  external  exalted 
Lord,  in  whom  they  trust  for  what  He  has  done 
and  is  doing  for  them  and  in  them.  They  know 
and  enjoy  but  little  of  the  power  of  the  true  mys- 
tery of  Christ  in  us,  of  His  inward  presence,  as 
an  indwelling  Saviour. 

The  former  and  simpler  view  is  that  of  the 
first  three  Gospels;  the  latter  marks  the  Gospel 
of  St.  John.  The  former  is  the  aspect  of  truth 
presented  in  the  Scripture  doctrine  of  justifica- 
tion. The  latter  is  the  teaching  concerning  the 
union  of  the  believer  with  Christ  and  his  continual 

148  The  Inner  Chamber 

abiding,  as  specially  taught  in  St.  John  and  the 
Epistles  to  the  Ephesians  and  Colossians. 

To  the  Christians  for  whom  this  book  is  writ- 
ten and  who  all  ought  to  be  preparing  to  carry 
Christ  to  their  fellowmen,  I  cannot  say  too  ear- 
nestly :  See  that  this  abiding  in  Christ  and  Christ 
in  you  be  not  only  a  truth  you  hold  in  its  right 
place  in  your  scheme  of  Gospel  doctrine,  but  that, 
as  a  matter  of  life  and  experience,  it  animate  all 
your  faith  in  Christ  and  intercourse  with  God. 
To  be  in  a  room  means  to  have  all  that  there  is 
in  it  at  your  disposal,  its  furniture,  its  comforts, 
its  light,  its  air,  its  shelter.  To  be  in  Christ,  to 
abide  in  Christ,  oh  !  to  know  what  this  means. 
It  is  not  a  matter  of  intellectual  faith  or  con- 
ception, but  a  spiritual  reality. 

Think  who  and  what  Christ  is.  Consider  Him 
in  the  five  states  or  stages  that  mark  and  reveal 
His  nature  and  work.  He  is  the  Incarnate 
One,  in  whom  we  see  how  God's  Omnipotence 
united  perfectly  the  Divine  and  human  nature. 
Living  IN  Him  we  are  partaking  of  the  Divine 
nature,  and  of  eternal  life.  He  is  the  Obedient 
One,  living  a  life  of  entire  surrender  to  God  and 
perfect  dependence  on  Him.  Living  in  Him  our 
life  becomes  one  of  complete  subjection  to  God's 
will  and  continual  waiting  upon  His  guidance. 
He  is  the  Crucified  One,  who  died  for  sin  and 
to  sin  that  He  might  take  it  away.  Living  in 
Him  we  are  free  from  its  curse  and  dominion,  and 
we  live,  like  Him,  in  death  to  the  world  and  our 


The  Christ  149 

own  will.  He  is  the  Eisen"  One,  who  lives  for 
evermore.  Living  in"  Him  we  share  His  resur- 
rection power,  and  walk  in  newness  of  life,  a  life 
that  has  triumphed  over  sin  and  death.  He  is 
THE  Exalted  One,  sitting  on  the  throne  and 
carrying  on  His  work  for  the  salvation  of  men. 
Living  IN  Him  His  love  possesses  us,  and  we  give 
ourselves  to  Him  to  use  in  winning  the  world 
back  to  God.  Being  in  Christ,  abiding  in  Him, 
means  nothing  less  than  that  the  soul  is  placed 
by  God  Himself  in  the  midst  of  this  wonderful 
environment  of  the  life  of  Christ  at  once  human 
and  Divine,  utterly  given  up  to  God,  in  obedience 
and  sacrifice,  wholly  filled  with  God  in  resurrec- 
tion life  and  glory.  The  nature  and  character 
of  Jesus  Christ — His  dispositions  and  affections. 
His  power  and  glory — ^these  are  the  elements  in 
which  we  live,  the  air  we  breathe,  the  life  in 
which  our  life  exists  and  grows. 

The  full  manifestations  of  God  and  His  sav- 
ing love  can  come  in  no  other  way  than  by  in- 
dwelling. In  virtue  of  Christ's  Divinity  and 
Divine  power.  He  can,  just  so  far  as  we  abide  in 
Him,  dwell  in  us.  As  far  as  the  heart  with  its 
love  is  given  to  Him  in  faith,  and  the  will  in 
active  obedience,  He  comes  in  and  makes  abode 
in  us.  We  can  say,  because  we  know: — Christ 
liveth  in  me. 

And  now,  to  come  to  our  main  purpose,  if  this 
life,  Christ  in  us  and  we  in  Him,  is  to  be  our 
real  working-day  life,  its  spirit  must  be  renewed 

150  The  Inner  Chamber 

and  strengthened  in  the  personal  intercourse  with 
God  with  which  we  begin  the  day  in  the  morning 
watch.  Our  access  to  God,  onr  sacrifice  to  God, 
our  expectation  from  God,  must  all  be  in  Christ, 
in  the  living  fellowship  with  Him.  If  ever  you 
feel  that  you  want  to  get  nearer  to  God,  to  realise 
His  presence  or  power,  or  love,  or  will,  or  work- 
ing, more  fully,  in  one  word  to  have  more  of  God 
— come  to  God  in  Christ.  Think  of  how,  as  man 
on  earth,  He  drew  nigh  to  the  Father  in  deep 
humility  and  dependence,  in  full  surrender  and 
entire  obedience,  and  come  in  His  spirit  and  dis- 
position, in  union  with  Him.  Seek  to  take  the 
very  place  before  God  that  Christ  has  taken  in 
heaven,  that  of  an  accomplished  redemption,  of 
a  perfect  victory,  of  full  entrance  to  God's  glory. 
Take  the  very  place  before  God  that  Christ  took 
on  earth  on  His  way  to  the  victory  and  the  glory. 
Do  it  in  the  faith  of  His  indwelling  and  enabling 
power  in  you  here  on  earth;  count  confidently  on 
your  approach  being  accepted  not  according  to 
your  attainment,  but  according  to  the  uprightness 
of  your  heart's  surrender,  and  the  completeness  of 
your  acceptance  in  Christ,  and  you  will  be  led  on 
in  the  path  in  which,  Christ  living  in  you  and 
speaking  in  you,  will  be  truth  and  power. 



"When  Jesus  therefore  perceived  that  they  would 
come  and  take  Him  by  force  to  make  Him  a  king,  He 
departed  again  into  a  mountain  Himself  alone." — 
John  vi.  15. 

The  Gospels  frequently  teU  us  of  Christ's  go- 
ing into  solitude  for  prayer.  Luke  mentions  his 
praying  eleven  times.  Mark  tells  us  in  his  very 
first  chapter,  that  after  an  evening  when  all  the 
city  had  been  gathered  together  at  the  door,  and 
He  had  healed  many,  "  in  the  morning  rising  up 
a  great  while  before  day.  He  went  out,  and  de- 
parted into  a  solitary  place  and  there  prayed." 
Before  He  chose  His  twelve  apostles  "He  went 
out  into  a  mountain  to  pray,  and  continued  all 
night  in  prayer  to  God."  This  thought  of  com- 
plete retirement  appears  to  have  deeply  im- 
pressed the  disciples,  giving  rise  to  John's  use  of 
the  significant  expression,  "He  departed  into  a 
mountain  Himself  Alone,"  as  Matthew  also  had 
written,  "He  went  up  into  a  mountain  apart  to 
pray,  and  when  the  even  was  come.  He  Was  There 
Alone.''  The  man  Christ  Jesus  felt  the  need  of 
perfect  solitude.  Let  us  humbly  seek  to  find  out 
what  this  means. 

1.  Himself    Alone.    Entirely    by    Himself, 

152  The  Inner  Chamber 

alone  with  Himself.  We  know  how  much  inter- 
course with  men  draws  us  away  from  ourselves 
and  exhausts  our  powers.  The  man  Christ  Jesus 
knew  this  too,  and  felt  the  need  of  coming  to 
Himself  again,  of  gathering  all  His  powers  of 
renewing  the  consciousness  of  what  He  was  and 
what  He  needed,  of  realising  fully  His  high  des- 
tiny, His  human  weakness,  His  entire  dependence 
on  the  Father. 

How  much  more  does  the  child  of  God  need 
this.  Whether  it  be  amid  the  distraction  of 
worldly  engagements  or  religious  service,  whether 
it  be  for  the  maintenance  of  our  own  Christian 
life,  or  the  renewal  of  our  power  to  influence  men 
for  God,  there  is  ever  an  urgent  call  to  every  be- 
liever to  follow  in  His  Master^s  steps,  and  find 
the  place  and  the  time  where  he  can  indeed  be 
with  himself  alone. 

2.  Himself  Alone,  with  spiritual  realities. 
It  is  in  the  entire  withdrawal  from  contact  with 
the  things  that  are  seen  and  temporal  that  we  are 
free  to  peld  ourselves  fully  to  the  powers  of  the 
unseen  world,  and  can  allow  them  to  master  us. 
Jesus  needed  time  and  quiet  ever  afresh  to  realise 
the  power  of  the  kingdom  of  darkness  which  He 
had  come  to  contend  with  and  to  conquer,  the 
need  of  this  great  world  of  mankind  which  He 
had  come  to  save,  the  presence  and  the  power  of 
the  Father  whose  will  He  had  come  to  do.  !N"oth- 
ing  is  more  indispensable  in  Christian  service 
than  that   a  man   should   at  times   set   himself 

Himself  Alone  153 

to  tliink  intensely  on  the  spiritual  realities  with 
which  as  a  matter  of  knowledge  he  is  so  familiar, 
and  which  yet  often  exercise  so  little  power  on 
the  heart  and  life.  The  truths  of  eternity  have  an 
infinite  power;  they  are  often  so  powerless  be- 
cause we  do  not  give  them  time  to  reveal 
themselves.  Himself  alone — this  is  the  only 

3.  Himself  Alone,  with  God  the  Father.  It 
is  sometimes  said  that  work  is  worship,  that  ser- 
vice is  fellowship.  If  ever  there  were  a  man  who 
could  dispense  with  special  seasons  for  solitude 
and  fellowship,  it  was  our  blessed  Lord.  But  He 
could  not  do  His  work  or  maintain  His  fellow- 
ship in  full  power,  without  His  quiet  time.  He 
felt  the  need  as  man  of  bringing  all  His  work, 
past  and  future,  and  putting  it  before  the  Father, 
of  renewing  His  sense  of  absolute  dependence  on 
the  Father's  power,  and  absolute  confidence  in 
the  Father^s  love,  in  seasons  of  special  fellowship. 
When  He  said :  "  the  Son  can  do  nothing  of  Him- 
self,^' "as  I  hear  so  I  speak,"  He  was  but  ex- 
pressing the  simple  truth  of  His  relation  to  God; 
it  was  this  that  made  His  going  apart  a  necessity 
and  an  unspeakable  joy. 

Would  God  that  every  servant  of  His  under- 
stood and  practised  this  blessed  art,  and  that  the 
Church  knew  how  to  train  its  children  into  some 
sense  of  this  high  and  holy  privilege,  that  every 
believer  may  and  must  have  his  time  when  he  is 
indeed — himself     alone     with     God.     Oh!    the 

154  The  Inner  Chamber 

thought  to  have  God  all  alone  to  myself,  and  to 
know  that  God  has  me  all  alone  to  Himself. 

4.  Himself  Alone,  with  the  Word.  As  man 
our  Lord  had  to  learn  God's  Word  as  a  child; 
during  the  long  years  of  His  life  in  ISTazareth, 
He  fed  on  that  Word  and  made  it  His  own.  In 
His  solitude  He  conferred  with  the  Father  on 
all  that  that  Word  spoke  of  Him,  on  all  the  will 
of  God  it  revealed  for  Him  to  do. 

In  the  life  of  the  Christian,  it  is  one  of  the 
deepest  lessons  that  he  has  to  learn,  that  the  Word 
without  the  living  God  avails  little;  that  the 
blessing  of  the  Word  comes  when  it  brings  us 
to  the  living  God;  that  the  Word  that  we  get 
from  the  mouth  of  God  brings  the  power  to 
know  it  and  to  do  it.  Let  us  learn  the  lesson: 
personal  fellowship  with  God  in  secret  alone  can 
make  the  word  to  be  life  and  power. 

5.  Himself  Alone,  in  prayer.  What  an  un- 
speakable privilege  prayer  is  as  it  allows  a  man 
to  lay  open  his  whole  life  to  God,  and  to  ask  for 
His  teaching  and  His  strength.  Just  try  for  a 
moment  to  think  what  prayer  meant  to  Jesus, 
what  adoring  worship,  what  humble  love,  what 
child-like  pleading  for  all  He  needed.  As  little 
as  we  can  conceive  of  this  aright,  can  we  realise 
what  blessedness  awaits  the  man  who  knows  to 
follow  in  Christ's  steps,  and  to  prove  what  the 
utmost  is  that  God  can  do  to  one  who  makes  this 
his  chief  joy — to  be  with  Him,  Himself  alone. 

Himself  Alone.    How  deep  the  words  open 

Himself  Alone  155 

up  to  us  the  secret  of  the  life  of  Christ  on  earth, 
and  of  the  life  that  He  now  lives  in  us.  Of  the 
life  that  He  lives  in  us  hy  His  Holy  Spirit,  this 
is  one  of  the  most  blessed  elements,  that  He  re- 
veals and  imparts  to  us  all  that  the  Word  means 
— Himself  alone. 


*'  He  that  winneth  souls  is  wise." — Pbov.  xi.  30. 

In  an  article  in  The  Student  Movement  for 
February,  1901,  on  "A  Spiritual  Awakening/'  by 
H.  W.  Oldham,  I  have  found  the  following  sen- 
tences:— "In  the  constitutions  of  most  Students' 
Christian  Unions  it  is  stated  that  the  Chief  Aim 
of  the  S.  C.  Union  is  to  lead  students  to  become 
disciples  of  Jesus  Christ.  But  if  the  question 
be  pressed  home,  ^  Are  students  actually  being  won 
from  indifference  and  unbelief  to  faith  in  Jesus 
Christ?'  the  reply  must  be  that,  although  in  a 
few  instances  such  is  the  case,  in  the  majority 
of  Unions  it  is  very  doubtful.  Some  Unions, 
discouraged  by  previous  failure,  have  become 
sceptical  as  to  the  possibility  of  winning  men  for 
Christ  in  circumstances  so  difficult  as  their  own. 
They  may  carry  on  to  some  extent  Traditional 
Methods  of  Aggressive  "Work,  but  have  ceased 
to  expect  to  do  more  than  strengthen  such  as 
already  have  faith.  The  Executive  of  the  Gen- 
eral College  Department  have  definitely  set  the 
Spiritual  Awakening  of  Students  in  the  fore- 
front of  their  policy.  If  the  local  Unions  will 
rally  round  the  Executive  we  may  fully  expect  to 

Soul-Winning  1 57 

see  God  working  in  the  lives  of  those  round  about 
us.  The  love  that  won  us  can  win  many.  It  is 
right  to  recognise  the  seriousness  of  adopting  this 
aim.  It  Involves  Close  Companionship  with 
Jesus  Christ  in  Holy  Living,  in  Self-Sacri- 
fice, IN  Loving  Service;  it  requires  submission 
to  the  correction  and  control  of  God^s  Spirit.  .  . 
We  must  lift  the  aim  of  Winning  Students  for 
Christ  out  of  the  background  in  our  work  and 
Place  It  First.  Our  Unions  have  more  than 
sufficient  mechanical  workers.  They  need  men 
and  women  with  definite  aims,  who  will  think 
and  pray,  and  pray  and  work,  until  their  Union 
is  a  fit  instrument  in  God's  hand  for  transform- 
ing the  lives  of  students.'' 

In  an  editorial  in  the  same  number,  we  read 
with  regard  to  the  Day  of  Prayer,  "  There  are 
many  confessions,  and  many  requests  which  we 
shall  have  to  make  on  the  day  of  prayer;  but  for 
ourselves  we  feel  that  the  most  urgent  must  be 
prayer  for  a  spiritual  awakening.  We  have  been 
gradually  recognising  the  fact  that  the  most  of 
our  Unions  Are  not  Winning  Men  for  Christ, 
and  some  have  begun  to  realise  with  dismay  that 
the  fact  has  caused  them  very  little  sorrow.  ^It 
is  a  misfortune  certainly  that  students  have  not 
been  won,  but — ^what  can  we  do?'  Truly  a 
spiritual  awakening  is  needed;  needed  in  our  own 
hearts.  When  it  comes  we  shall  soon  find  out 
what  to  do.  Where  is  the  passionate  longing  to 
help  men?    Where  is  the  urgent  prayer  for  our 

158  The  Inner  Chamber 

brother  that  will  not  be  denied?  At  the  very 
heart  of  the  whole  matter  is  our  lack  of  interest. 
It  is  only  what  interests  us  that  will  influence 
men.  It  is  only  when  deep  down  among  the 
eternal  interests  of  our  soul  there  flames  the 
Passionate  Desire  to  Lead  Men  to  Christ, 
that  we  shall  meet  those  who  need  our  help,  and 
who  will  welcome  it.  It  is  only  words  and  deeds 
which  burst  from  the  Burning  Passion  op  De- 
sire TO  Help  Men,  which  find  opportunities  of 
influencing  lives.  For  it  is  only  where  there  is 
a  desire  like  this,  that  the  Holy  Ghost  is  a  fellow- 
worker  with  men.  And  without  him  we  are 
powerless  either  to  find  those  who  are  ready,  or 
having  found  them,  to  give  them  help.  Shall 
we  not  unitedly  ask  that  A  Passion  for  Souls 
may  be  borne  in  each  of  us  on  the  day  of  prayer  ? '' 
To  this  let  me  add  an  extract  from  an  article 
on  "  Indian  Needs,"  in  the  January  number  of 
the  same  paper.  The  writer  (Eev.  W.  E.  S.  Hol- 
land, formerly  Trav.  Sec.  B.  C.  C.  U.)  had  spoken 
of  the  central  purpose  in  the  creation  of  Mission 
Colleges  being  "the  personal  influence  which  the 
teachers  would  be  able  to  gain  over  their  pupils." 
He  had  then  said :  "  Yet  I  have  it  on  the  authority 
of  teachers  in  four  of  the  largest  Indian  Mission 
Colleges  that  their  time  is  so  fully  taken  up  with 
lecturing  that  they  have  neither  time  nor  spirit 
for  personal  intercourse  with  their  students.  Five 
or  six  hours  a  day,  with  several  more  in  prepara- 
tion,  in   an   Indian   climate,   leave   a  man  ex- 

Soul- Winning  159 

hausted,  with  neither  time  nor  nervous  energy 
for  That  Intensest  of  all  Work,  Individual 
Dealing  with  a  Man  about  His  Soul/' 

He    concludes    his    paper    with    these    words: 
"  40,000  men  are  wanted,  not  less,  if  all  India  is 
to  hear.     Yet  one  almost  shrinks  from  an  appeal 
for  men.     Why?     Lest  men  should  come  to  be 
cumberers    of    the    ground.     For    Missionary 
Work  Is  after  all,  only  Soul-Winning.    And 
there  is  nothing  to  make  a  man  a  soul-winner  in 
India  Who  Has  not  Been  One  at  Home.    A 
sense  of  duty,  or  of  the  great  need,  may  Bring  a 
man  to  India.     Nothing  can  enable  him  to  Live 
year  by  year  a  missionary  Life  out  here,  save  such 
a  burning  love  for  Christ  as  Constrains  to  Sac- 
rifice AND  A  Life  of  Soul-Winning  at  Home.'' 
What  thoughts  these  extracts  suggest  in  regard 
to  the  work  of  soul-winning !     That  it  is  the  first 
great  requisite  in  the  missionary.    That  going  to 
a  mission  field  will  not  necessarily  make  a  man  a 
soul-winner.     That  it  is  at  home,  ere  one  enters 
the  mission  field,  that  the  spirit  of  self-sacrifice 
and  soul-winning  must  be  got  and  be  exercised. 
That  to  train  its  members  in  the  art  of  soul-win- 
ning is  one  of  the  chief  aims  of  the  Student  Move- 
ment, as  the  practice  of  it  will  be  the  measure  of 
its  strength  and  success.     That  the  danger  ever 
threatens  of  our  lapsing  out  of  this  into  tradi- 
tional and  mechanical  methods.     That  continual, 
fervent,  united  and  private  prayer  ought  to  be 
made   for   more   love   to    souls,    and   continual, 


i6o  The  Inner  Chamber 

earnest,  united  and  private  efforts  be  put  forth 
in  every  Students'  Union  that  our  companions 
may  be  won  for  Christ. 

The  great  characteristic  of  the  Divine  life, 
whether  in  God,  or  in  Christ,  or  in  us,  is — ^love 
seeking  to  save  the  lost.  Let  this  be  the  Christian 
life  we  cultivate;  a  love  that  finds  its  blessed- 
ness in  saving  men.  This  life  can  be  cultivated 
in  no  other  man  than  by  close  personal  attachment 
to  Jesus,  and  daily  fellowship  with  Him  as  a 
Friend  we  love.  It  is  in  the  inner  chamber  that 
this  fellowship  with  the  Father  and  the  Son  is  to 
be  maintained.  It  is  in  this  specially  that  the 
father  who  seeth  us  in  secret  will  reward  us 



"Tell  me  wherein  thy  great  strength  lieth." 
— It  is  the  question  we  fain  would  have  answered 
of  the  men  who  of  old,  and  in  later  times,  as  in- 
tercessors for  others,  have  had  power  with  God, 
and  have  prevailed.  More  than  one,  who  has 
desired  to  give  himself  to  this  ministry,  has  won- 
dered that  he  has  found  it  so  difficult  to  rejoice 
in  it,  to  persevere,  and  to  prevail.  Let  us  study 
the  lives  of  the  leaders  and  heroes  of  the  prayer 
world;  maybe  some  of  the  elements  of  their  suc- 
cess will  be  discovered  to  us. 

The  true  intercessor  is  a  man  who  knows  that 
God  knows  of  him  that  his  heart  and  life  are 
Wholly  Given  up  to  God  and  His  Glory. 
This  is  the  only  condition  on  which  an  officer  at 
the  court  of  an  earthly  sovereign  could  expect  to 
exert  much  influence.  Moses  and  Elijah  and 
Daniel  and  Paul  prove  that  it  is  so  in  the  spiritual 
world.  Our  blessed  Lord  is  Himself  the  proof  of 
it.  He  did  not  save  us  by  intercession,  but  by 
self-sacrifice.  His  power  of  intercession  roots  in 
His  sacrifice :  it  claims  and  receives  what  the 
sacrifice  won.  As  we  have  it  so  clearly  put  in 
the  last  words  of  Isaiah  liii. :  "He  poured  out 
His  soul  unto  death,  and  was  numbered  with  the 

1 62  The  Inner  Chamber 

transgressors,  and  He  bare  the  sins  of  many," 
— study  this  in  connection  with  the  whole  chapter 
of  which  it  is  the  crown — '^  and  made  intercession 
for  the  transgressors."  He  first  gave  himself  up 
to  the  will  of  God.  There  he  won  the  power  to 
influence  and  guide  that  will.  He  gave  Himself 
for  sinners  in  all-consuming  love,  and  so  He  won 
the  power  to  intercede  for  them.  There  is  no 
other  path  for  us.  It  is  the  man  who  seeks  to 
enter  personally  into  death  with  Christ,  and  gives 
himself  wholly  for  God  and  men,  who  will  dare 
to  be  bold  like  Moses  or  Elijah,  who  will  persevere 
like  Daniel  or  Paul.  Whole-hearted  devotion  and 
obedience  to  God  are  the  first  marks  of  an  inter- 

You  complain  that  you  do  not  feel  able  to  pray 
thus,  and  ask  how  you  may  be  fitted  to  do  so. 
You  speak  much  of  the  feebleness  of  your  faith 
in  God,  and  love  to  souls,  and  delight  in  prayer. 
The  man  who  is  to  have  power  in  intercession 
must  cease  these  complaints — ^he  must  know  that 
he  has  a  Nature  Perfectly  Adapted  to  the 
Work.  An  apple  tree  is  only  expected  to  bear 
apples,  because  it  has  the  apple  nature  within  it. 
"  You  are  God^s  workmanship,  created  in  Christ 
Jesus  unto  good  works.''  The  eye  was  created  to 
see :  how  beautifully  fitted  it  is  for  its  work !  You 
are  created  in  Christ  to  pray.  It  is  your  very 
nature  as  a  child  of  God ;  the  Spirit  has  been  sent 
into  your  heart — ^what  to  do?  To  cry  Abba 
Father,  to  draw  your  heart  up  in  child-like  prayer. 

The  Power  of  Intercession  163 

The  Holy  Spirit  prays  in  us  with  groanings  that 
cannot  be  uttered,  with  a  divine  power  which  our 
mind  and  feelings  cannot  understand.  Learn,  if 
you  would  be  an  intercessor,  to  give  the  Holy 
Spirit  much  greater  honors  than  is  generally 
done.  Believe  that  He  is  praying  within  you, 
and  then  be  strong  and  of  good  courage.  As  you 
pray,  be  still  before  God  to  believe  and  yield  to 
this  wonderful  power  of  prayer  within  you. 

But  there  is  so  much  conscious  sinfulness  and 
defect  in  our  prayer?  True,  but  have  you  not 
learned  what  it  is  to  pray  in  the  Name  of 
Christ?  Does  the  name  not  mean  the  living 
power?  Do  you  not  know  that  you  are  in  Christ 
and  He  in  you  ?  That  your  whole  life  is  hid  and 
bound  up  in  His?  and  His  whole  life  is  hid  and 
working  in  you  ?  The  man  who  is  to  intercede  in 
power  must  be  very  clear  that,  not  in  thought 
and  reckoning  only,  but  in  the  most  actual,  living, 
divine  reality,  Christ  and  he  are  one  in  the  work 
of  intercession.  He  appears  before  God  clothed 
with  the  name  and  the  nature,  the  righteousness 
and  worthiness,  the  image  and  spirit  and  life  of 
Christ.  Do  not  spend  your  chief  time  in  prayer 
in  reiterating  your  petition,  but  in  humbly, 
quietly,  confidently  claiming  your  place  in  Christ, 
your  perfect  union  with  Him,  your  access  to  God 
in  Him.  It  is  the  man  who  comes  to  God  in 
Christ,  bringing  to  the  Father  that  Christ  in 
whom  He  delights,  as  his  life  and  his  law  and 
only  trust  who  will  have  power  to  intercede. 


164  The  Inner  Chamber 

Intercession  is  preeminently  a  work  of  faith. 
JSTot  the  faith  that  tries  only  to  believe  the  prayer 
will  be  heard,  but  the  faith  that  is  at  home  amid 
heavenly  realities.  A  faith  that  does  not  trouble 
about  one's  own  nothingness  and  feebleness,  be- 
cause it  is  living  in  Christ.  A  faith  that  does  nol; 
make  its  hope  depend  upon  its  feelings,  but  upon 
the  faithfulness  of  the  Three-One  God,  in  what 
each  person  has  undertaken  to  do  in  prayer.  A 
faith  that  has  overcome  the  world,  and  sacrifices 
the  visible  to  be  wholly  free  for  the  spiritual  and 
heavenly  and  eternal  to  take  possession  of  it.  A 
faith  that  knows  that  it  is  heard  and  receives  what 
it  asks,  and  therefore  quietly  and  deliberately  per- 
severes in  its  supplication  till  the  answer  come. 
The  true  intercessor  must  be  a  man  of  faith. 

The  intercessor  must  be  a  Messenger — one 
who  holds  himself  ready,  who  earnestly  offers  him- 
self personally  to  receive  the  answer  and  to  dis- 
pense it.  Praying  and  working  go  together. 
Think  of  Moses — his  boldness  in  pleading  with 
God  for  the  people  was  no  greater  than  his  plead- 
ing with  the  people  for  God.  We  see  the  same  in 
Elijah — ^the  urgency  of  his  prayer  in  secret  is 
equalled  by  his  jealousy  for  God  in  public,  as 
he  witnessed  against  the  sin  of  the  nation.  Let 
intercession  be  always  accompanied,  not  so  much, 
by  more  diligent  work,  as  by  the  meek  and  humble 
waiting  on  God  to  receive  His  grace  and  spirit, 
and  to  know  more  definitely  what  and  how  He 
would  have  us  work.    It  is  one  thing,  it  is  a  great 

The  Power  of  Intercession  165 

thing,  to  begin  to  take  up  the  work  of  interces- 
sion— the  drawing  down  to  earth  of  the  blessings 
which  heaven  has  for  its  every  need.  It  is  a 
greater  thing  as  intercessor  personally  to  receive 
that  blessing,  and  go  out  from  God's  face,  know- 
ing that  we  have  secured  something  that  we  can 
impart.  May  God  make  ns  all  whole-hearted, 
believing,  blessing-bearing  intercessors. 



"The  effectual  fervent  prayer  of  a  righteous  man 
availeth  much.  Ellas  was  a  man  subject  to  like  pas- 
sions as  we  are." — Jas.  v.  16,  17. 

There  is  nothing  that  so  much  weakens  the  force 
of  the  call  to  imitate  the  example  of  Scripture 
saints,  as  the  thought  that  theirs  are  exceptional 
cases,  and  that  what  we  see  in  them  is  not  to  be 
expected  of  all.  The  aim  of  God  in  Scripture  is 
the  very  opposite.  He  gives  us  these  men  for 
our  instruction  and  encouragement,  as  a  specimen 
of  what  His  grace  can  do,  as  living  embodiments 
of  what  His  will  and  our  nature  at  once  demand 
and  render  possible. 

It  was  just  to  meet  the  so  common  error 'alluded 
to,  and  to  give  confidence  to  all  of  us  who  aim  at 
a  life  of  effectual  prayer,  that  James  wrote: 
"Elias  was  a  man  subject  to  like  passions  as  we 
are,"  As  there  was  no  difference  between  his 
nature  and  ours,  or  between  the  grace  that 
wrought  in  him  and  works  in  us,  there  is  no 
reason  why  we  should  not,  like  him,  pray  effectu- 
ally. If  our  Prayer  is  to  have  power,  we  must 
seek  to  have  somewhat  of  Elijah^s  spirit.  The 

The  Intercessor  167 

aspiration,  Let  me  seek  grace  to  pray  like  Elijah, 
is  perfectly  legitimate,  is  most  needful.  If  we 
honestly  seek  for  the  secret  of  his  power  in  prayer 
the  path  in  which  he  trod  will  open  to  us.  We 
shall  find  it  in  his  life  with  God,  his  work  for  God, 
his  trust  in  God. 

Elijah  Lived  with  God. 

Prayer  is  the  voice  of  our  life.  As  a  man  lives 
BO  he  prays.  Not  the  words  or  thoughts  with 
which  he  is  occupied  at  set  times  of  prayer,  but 
the  bent  of  his  heart  as  seen  in  his  desires  and 
actions,  .is  regarded  by  God  as  his  real  prayer. 
The  life  speaks  louder  and  truer  than  the  lips. 
To  pray  well  I  must  live  well.  He  who  seeks  to 
live  with  God,  will  learn  so  to  know  His  mind  and 
to  please  Him,  that  he  will  be  able  to  pray  accord- 
ing to  His  will.  Think  how  Elijah,  at  his  first 
message  to  Ahab,  spoke  of  "  the  Lord  God,  before 
whom  I  stand.^'  Think  of  his  solitude  at  the 
brook  Cherith,  receiving  his  bread  from  God 
through  the  ravens,  and  then  at  Sarepta  through 
the  ministry  of  a  poor  widow.  He  walked  with 
God,  he  learned  to  know  God  well ;  when  the  time 
came,  he  knew  how  to  pray  to  a  God  whom  he  had 
proved.  It.ia_Qnly  out  of  a  lif a  .of  .true-  fellowship 
with  God  that  the  prayer  of  faith  can  be  born. 
Let  the  link  between  the  life  and  the  prayer  be 
clear  and  close.  As  we  give  ourselves  to  walk  with 
God,  we  shall  learn  to  pray. 

Elijah  Worked  for  God. 

He  went  where  God  sent  him.    He  did  what 

1 68  The  Inner  Chamber 

God  commanded  him.  He  stood  up  for  God  and 
his  service.  He  witnessed  against  the  people  and 
their  sin.  All  who  heard  him  could  say: 
"Now  I  know  that  thou  art  a  man  of  God,  and 
that  the  word  of  the  Lord  in  thy  mouth  is  truth.'' 
His  prayers  were  all  in  connection  with  his  work 
for  God.  He  was  equally  a  man  of  action  and  a 
man  of  prayer.  When  he  prayed  down,  first  the 
drought  and  then  the  rain,  it  was,  as  part  of  his 
prophetic  work,  that  the  people,  by  judgment  and 
mercy,  might  be  brought  back  to  God.  When  he 
prayed  down  fire  from  heaven  on  the  sacrifice,  it 
was  that  God  might  be  known  as  the  true  God. 
All  he  asked  was  for  the  glory  of  God.  How 
often  believers  seek  power  in  prayer,  that  they 
may  be  able  to  get  good  gifts  for  themselves.  The 
secret  selfishness  robs  them  of  the  power  and  the 
answer.  It  is  when  self  is  lost  in  the  desire  for 
God's  glory,  and  our  life  is  devoted  to  work  for 
God,  that  power  to  pray  can  come.  God  lives  to 
love,  and  save,  and  bless  men:  the  believer  who 
gives  himself  up  to  God's  service  in  this,  will  find 
in  it  new  life  in  prayer.  Work  for  others  proves 
the  honesty  of  our  prayer  for  them.  Work  for 
God  reveals  alike  our  need  and  our  right  to  pray 
boldly.  Cultivate  the  consciousness,  and  speak  it 
out  before  God,  that  you  are  wholly  given  up  to 
His  service;  it  will  strengthen  your  confidence  in 
His  hearing  you. 

Elijah  Trusted  God. 

He  had  learned  to  trust  Him  for  His  personal 

The  Intercessor  i6o 

needs  in  the  time  of  famine;  he  dared  trust  Him 
for  greater  things  in  answer  to  prayer  for  His 
people.  What  confidence  in  God^s  hearing  him 
we  see  in  his  appeal  to  the  God  that  answers  by 
fire.  What  confidence  in  God's  doing  what  he 
would  ask,  when  he  announced  to  Ahab  the  abun- 
dance of  rain 'that  was  coming,  and  then,  with  his 
face  to  the  earth,  pleaded  for  it,  while  his  servant, 
six  times  over,  brought  the  message,  "There  is 
nothing.'*  An  unwavering  confidence  in  the 
promise  and  character  of  God,  and  God's  personal 
friendship  for  himself,  acquired  in  personal  inter- 
course, and  proved  in  work  for  God,  gave 
power  for  the  effectual  prayer  of  the  righteous 

The  inner  chamber  is  the  place  where  this  has 
to  be  learned.  The  morning  watch  is  the  training 
school  where  we  are  to  exercise  the  grace  that  can 
fit  us  to  pray  like  Elijah.  Let  us  not  fear.  The 
God  of  Elijah  still  lives;  the  spirit  that  was  in 
him  dwells  in  us.  Let  us  cease  from  the  limited 
and  selfish  views  of  prayer,  which  only  aim  at 
grace  enough  to  keep  us  standing.  Let  us  culti- 
vate the  consciousness  that  Elijah  had  of  living 
wholly  for  God,  and  we  shall  learn  to  pray  like 
him.  Prayer  will  bring  to  ourselves  and  to  others 
the  new  and  blessed  experience,  that  our  prayers 
too  are  effectual  and  avail  much. 

In  the  power  of  that  Eedeeming  Intercessor, 
who  ever  liveth  to  pray,  let  us  take  courage  and 
not  fear.    We  have  given  ourselves  to  God,  we 

170  The  Inner  Chamber 

are  working  for  Him.  "We  are  learning  to  know 
and  trust  Him.  We  can  count  on  the  life  of  God 
in  us,  the  Holy  Spirit  dwelling  in  us,  to  lead  us 
on  to  this  grace  too:  the  effectual  prayer  of  the 
righteous  man  that  availeth  much. 

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